THE MYTH blu-ray review

UK Region-free blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 2.35:1

Cantonese: DD 5.1, DD 2.0

English: DD 5.1

Subtitles: English








THE MYTH is a ten-times-better version of the TOMB RAIDER movies, a hint of NATIONAL TREASURE, a bit of INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, and of course a touch of Yimou Zhang. Some say the mixing of the period piece genre with current time period is awkward – I say phooey…I love the mixing of genres and I thought it worked great. The period piece story with Jackie Chan as the killing machine general was just as interesting as much as the nice guy Jackie Chan archeologist contemporary story, and eventually how they both connected. It was well written and totally entertaining for a fun movie. This isn’t supposed to be an Oscar movie, it’s just a great fun movie, showing the Jackie Chan that we love in his trademark clownish kung fu scenes and jumping around in dangerous areas (with wire work which is okay considering his age) and we get to see a new Jackie Chan kick ass, kill hundreds of men, fight with swords, and fall in love. Stanley Tong isn’t Yimou Zhang, so don’t expect another HERO, but he did a pretty damn fine job with doing a period piece for the first time. Jackie Chan as the general did a very good job acting. As we watch the making-of feature, Jackie Chan was aggresively directed by Stanley Tong to act with no emotion or facial expressions, so it’s not Jackie’s fault if people think he acted as if he was constipated the whole time as I have read in other reviews. Jackie Chan is just a hard-working actor who does what his director tells him. Although he is no Russell Crowe, Jackie Chan still has potential to do some really fine acting if given the right director to work with. Look at one of the worst directors today, George Lucas – he was responsible for the lousy acting in all three STAR WARS prequels. All those actors from the prequels have done amazing work in other movies. It is the director’s responsibility to get excellent acting. Stanley Tong isn’t as bad director as George Lucas, he’s just a fun director, so you can’t really fault Jackie Chan if one thinks he didn’t do a good job or if no one felt emotion from the story. It’s just an entertaining blockbuster-type film. After watching the making-of featurettes for THE MYTH, it’s hard not to love Jackie Chan. He not only helps out all the actors and helps out cleaning the sets, he is the type of person that wants everyone to be comfortable and have fun on the set, yet do a professional job. With all the different nationalities involved in this film (China, Korea, India), it’s nice to see that Jackie is the one keeping everything together and making people happy.

The movie moved along very fast and was extremely entertaining. I didn’t notice any filler in the story at all. I’m a bit confused why people call the Mallika Sherawat scenes in India unnecessary. The best part of the movie was when Jackie Chan was in India. All of the Indian scenes were important, because:
1. Mallika is hot, gets topless for a split-second (they airbrush her nipples off when she is topless) and makes the movie even more rewatchable by just her presence. She has that bombshell cinema presence in which you can watch any of her movies with the mute button on. She is in a class of actresses such as these other actresses around the world – Monica Bellucci, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Connelly (pre-Beautiful Mind movies), Sofía Vergara, Leonor Watling, Angelina Jolie, Chalize Theron. Stanley Tong understands casting. He could have just stuck with Hee-seon Kim, the Korean actress playing the princess in THE MYTH, and not get Mallika, but this Korean actress has as much presence as a tree. Trees are pretty and nice to look at but they are just there and have no presence. There is nothing special about Hee-seon Kim when comparing her to Mallika.
2. Mallika kicks ass in some short but quality fight scenes.
3. the glue factory Jackie Chan fight scene
4. Mallika is one of the few actors (eventhough she is bad actress) in India that does controversial things in Bollywood movies, such as kiss in movies (how X-rated). In THE MYTH, she was one of the first Bollywood actors to do some martial arts and look good doing it eventhough the fight scenes are very short (in most Bollywood movie, the fight scenes are painful to watch). She represents the potential of what Bollywood actors should be doing if they didn’t have such traditional movie obstacles typically found in Bollywood.

The action in THE MYTH rocked! There were countless scenes of awesome action: every single fight scene involving Jackie Chan was just amazing. There were funny fight scenes and some serious bad-ass fight scenes. There were funny fight scenes that were meant to be funny. And there were some serious fight scenes than turned out to be unintentionally funny (the horse-fu scenes…I thought that was creative, funny, and great!). Other creative scenes involved Jackie Chan people chased by thousands of Indians, Jackie Chan fighting against an Indian with Indian martial arts, Mallika’s fight scenes, the mega bow-and-arrow, the mountain of dead bodies with Jackie standing on top of them, the sew-up-a-wound with a lock of hair scene, the snowballing scene, the none-gravity climactic scenes, etc…on and on…I think this is Stanley Tong’s most creative movie yet, not only with the storyline, but with the most creative action and visuals he’s ever done.

There are few negatives in this movie. These negatives bothered critics and a lot of people who thought this movie was fair. I was aware of the negatives, but it didn’t bother me that much because there were too many other cool things in the movie to notice:
1. There was some pretty bad pre-Terminator 2 CGI scenes in this movie involving a snake, falling off a cliff, Zatoichi spurting cartoon blood, falling rocks, and the worst one, was a scene in which Tony Leung is sinking into metalic goo with something happening to the floor around him. I sort of figured out what was going on, but it was actually pretty poorly done – I didn’t know what the fuck I was looking at. At least, I knew that the snake was a snake. But Stanley Tong made up for his poor use of CGI with his skillful and creative wire-work in this movie. It’s not that the audience questioned whether something was wire work or not, the fact is that the wire-work looked good in this movie and was used creatively, and was not meant to look “real.” We all know that Jackie Chan used wire-work in this movie. If you wanna see real stunts, go watch the overrated Tony Jaa.
2. The most annoying aspect in THE MYTH was Stanley Tong’s descision to squish the image during the period piece scenes. It was a stylish choice which sucked! It was clearly seen when Jackie Chan was on the screen. It didn’t seem as squished when the Princess was in a scene. I’m not sure which is the most annoying filmmaking i’ve ever seen – the squished effect of the period piece scenes in THE MYTH or the shaky-cam scenes in THE BOURNE SUPREMECY?

Overall, Jackie Chan’s THE MYTH is a pretty good entertaining fun flick. It was nice to see Jackie Chan do comedic fight scenes and also nice to see him tackle a different style – acting, romance, killing, and doing serious fight scenes. Either way, the movie is worth it just to watch Jackie Chan and Mallika Sherawat!

The Blu-ray video and audio quality is pretty sweet. The 1080p video looked damned good, especially during Mallika’s scenes…and the audio sounded amazing. The blu-ray also includes a whole bunch of extras including interviews, making-ofs, deleted scenes, trailers, and outtakes.

I highly recommend this creative Jackie Chan film!

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