Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 26th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: China / Hong Kong, 2005
Director: Stanley Tong
Writers: Hai-shu Li, Stanley Tong, Hui-Ling Wang
Cast: Jackie Chan, Hee-seon Kim, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Mallika Sherawat, Ken Lo, Rongguang Yu, Choi Min Soo, Sun Zhou
DVD released: May 4th, 2009
Approximate running time: 121 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Chinese, Dolby Digital Stereo Chinese, Dolby Digital 5.1 English
DVD Release: Cine Asia / Showbox Media Group Ltd
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £15.99
The Myth was co-written and directed by Stanley Tong, whose other notable films include Supercop, Supercop 2 and Rumble in the Bronx. The screenplay for The Myth was co-written by Hui-Ling Wang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The cinematographer on The Myth was Wing-Hung Wong who other notable credits as a cinematographer include A Better Tomorrow, A Better Tomorrow 2, A Chinese Ghost Story, The Killer, Bullet in the Head and Peace Hotel.
The plot for The Myth is broken down into two separate stories that intersect at the end. One of the stories involves a General named Meng Yi who has sworn to protect a princess named Ok-soo. The other story involves an archeologist named Jack Chan who’s friend William who is working on a project having to do with gravity. The plot does a good job alternating between the two stories. The serious tone in the bulk of the scenes with the General Meng Yi, tend to get away from this film’s greatest strength. Which is the lighthearted scenes with the Jack Chan character, especially the scenes where he interacts with his friend William.
The film features plenty of action, with a few of the choice moments being a scene where Jack Chan is running away from the law and he jumps on a machine that is layered with glue which makes moving around near impossible. This remarkable scene concludes with Jack Chan helping a young woman named Samantha whose front side is stuck to the moving table. When he flips her backwards her top rips and in one motion he takes on his own shirt and covers her up. Another standout scene is when the General Meng Yi takes on an army of literally hundreds of soldiers who he kills by the dozen’s despite being out numbered.
Jackie Chan is cast in the dual roles of General Meng Yi and Jack Chan. His performance as General Meng Yi is not as convincing as his performance in the role of Jack Chan (a character tailored made for him. The films features two strong performances from its two leading ladies Hee-seon Kim and Mallika Sherawat, who is even given a scene to show off her impressive fighting skills. The film’s standout performance comes from Zhou Sun who is cast as the role of Mr. Koo, the main villain in the film. Ultimately for as much the works in The Myth, there is just as much that doesn’t gel. The Myth is an uneven film that fans of Jackie Chan will get the most enjoyment out of.
Cine Asia presents The Myth in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors look vibrant; flesh tones look accurate and healthy. Black levels look solid and details look razor sharp throughout.
This release comes with three audio options a Dolby Digital 5.1 Chinese mix, a Dolby Digital stereo Chinese mix and a Dolby Digital 5.1 English mix. Listening to the three audio mixes there really is not any drastic differences between them. They all sound balanced, crystal clear and robust. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and error free have been included.
Extras for this release has been spread over two DVD’s. Extras on disc one include the film’s original Chinese language trailer with English subtitles (2 minutes 11 seconds), a UK promo for the film (1 minute 29 seconds) and a music video for the song “Endless Love” which appears in the film. This music video / song, is available in two versions, the International version and the Mandarin version. Both versions also come with English subtitles. The main extra on disc one is a twenty minute making of featurette that includes behind the scenes footage and comments from the cast. The comments are in Chinese and English and English subtitles have been included. Rounding out the extras on disc one are trailers for other Cine Asia titles that are also available on DVD.
Extras on disc two include two deleted scenes “Troops Passing” 14 seconds – and “Searching the Temple” – 3 minutes 51 sceonds in Chinese with English subtitles, Three lost scenes which only exist via behind the scenes footage of them, a twelve minute segment titled “Just for Laughs” which collects humorous behind the scenes moments (in Chinese with English subtitles) and a seventeen minute segment titled “Hong Kong Premier” (in Chinese with English subtitles). Other extras include eleven behind the scenes segments (in Chinese with English subtitles). Each of these segments focuses on a specific scene from the film. Rounding out the extras on disc two is an interview gallery with Jackie Chan (20 minutes 41 seconds – in Chinese with English subtitles), Tony Leung Ka Fai (15 minutes 37 seconds – in Chinese with English subtitles), Hee-seon Kim (13 minutes 41 seconds – in Korean with English subtitles), Mallika Sherawat (12 minutes 41 seconds – in English with English subtitles), Stanley Tong (20 minutes 49 seconds – in Chinese with English subtitles), Sun Zhou (6 minutes 13 seconds – in Chinese with English subtitles) and Choi Min Soo (4 minutes 35 seconds – in Korean with English subtitles). Overall The Myth gets a definitive DVD release from Cine Asia, recommended.