The Myth is proof that Jackie Chan is getting older (CGI - wire work) but it is not a capitulation to age instead it is something of a rarity in the martial arts genre – a contemplation of the importance of history, faith, science and honour in a time when science is almost a religion. When Jack, a world renowned archaeologist starts having dreams that he was an ancient Chinese general in a past life he dismisses them as just dreams. Naturally enough the fact that he is having these lush dreams of a previous life are harbingers of experiences to come as he assists his best friend in the search for the burial chamber of China’s first emperor.
The serpentine path that Jack has to trace to get to the final resting place of the real focus of the story Ok-soo (played to beautiful perfection by Hee-seon Kim) is worthy of the most adventurous martial arts movies. Location shoots in India are particularly good.
Unfortunately the whole movie doesn’t quite stand up to what it aspires toward. The mélange of an historical love story with a modern day adventure is not the sour note in The Myth: It is Jackie Chan himself. Jackie Chan just cannot stop being Jackie Chan and he cannot stop making Jackie Chan movies. Ironically he could have cast Tony Leung Ka Fai (who plays William in the movie) in the lead and have had a better movie. The historical sequences are well produced, beautifully costumed, and well told. In these sequences of the movie Jackie Chan is completely convincing as the general who’s unrequited love for Ok-soo is the stuff of legends. It is when things move to the present day that the movie switches gears into more of a stock chop-socky movie with over done choreography and ludicrous situations.
The Myth is still an entertaining movie for martial arts fans in general and Jackie Chan fans in particular.