Monday, February 24, 2014

Film Review! {The Lost Medallion}

The Lost Medallion
The Adventures of Billy Stone
PG, 2013

Cast:

[rear cover description]
The journey of The Lost Medallion begins as Daniel Anderson (Kendrick, Fireproof, Courageous) visits a foster home to drop off a donation and is quickly roped into telling the kids a story.  Daniel tells the tale of Billy Stone (Unger, Disney XD's "Lab Rats) and Allie (Hanratty, American Girl), two 13-year-old friends who uncover a long-lost medallion and accidentally wish themselves back in time.  In order for Billy to save Allie's life, he must give up the medallion to the evil warlord, Cobra, (Dacascos, "Iron Chef," "Hawaii Five-O") who rules the island and its people.  In order to retrieve the medallion and save the island people from slavery, Billy and Allie must work together with a young arrogant king (Jansen Panettiere, The Perfect Game), his best friend, and a wise old man (Hong, Kung-Fu Panda).  Together, this unlikely group will learn not only how to work together, but when they do, great things can be accomplished.

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WARNING:  Possible Spoilers

First off, this is an awesome, family-friendly movie.  Made by a group of independent film-makers and filmed in Thailand, this is an incredibly fun, well-made production.  One I would highly recommend to everyone!

[The Basics]
Our story begins with Daniel Anderson, who goes to visit the local foster home, where he himself was raised, to drop off a box of donations.  There, he speaks with the mistress of the house, a dear friend, who seems to be like a mother to him, and comes to know the names of the kids there and a bit of their backgrounds.  

Billy is a quiet boy, who rarely, if ever, speaks and always keeps to himself.   Allie is shy and self-conscious, lacking confidence in herself, and feeling she is an accident.  Huko loves the power of being in charge, even if it means the other kids hate him.  Among these, more children are loved and cared for by the good lady, who takes every opportunity to show them that someone does love them and that they are no mere accidents.

Unknowingly, and reluctantly at first, Daniel is pulled in by the kids to tell a story.  It soon becomes so much more, as he relates to his young audience that God loves them despite their faults, and they have the potential to be heroes of their own stories.

Daniel's story begins with the medallion, of course.  A king is crowned with a gem, and, because of his noble character, is gifted with the power that all he wishes for will come true.  By his orders, the crown is melted down into a medallion with the gem in its center, to symbolize that all men are created equal and that the king, while ruler of his people, is still a servant to them.  The medallion's powers become known and a feared warlord does all in his power to make it his.  

[Spiritual Content]
There is an underlying theme of Christ's love in this film, as shown by the foster mother and Daniel, as well as the sacrifice of another character (more on that in a bit) in Daniel's tale.  In the story, Daniel encourages the kids to value themselves as people--not to doubt their abilities and talents.  Friendship, teamwork, humility--all these play a large part in this tale.

[Violence]
Seeing as this film has the word "adventure" in its title, not to mention a warlord, there is a good bit of fighting amongst the characters.

The king, in an attempt to protect the medallion and his people, flees to the jungle to hide it.  He succeeds but is killed, offscreen (we see Cobra knock him to the ground and strike, but the camera flashes away to a new scene).

Cobra, said warlord, has fought to claim the medallion, an object of power, as his own.  With it, he will own the island and be its king, planning to use the natives as slaves for his mountain fortress.  On his pointer-finger and thumb, his nails are razor sharp, resembling the fangs of a. . . well, cobra.  He dips the tips into a small jar of poison and more than once we see him "strike" his intended prey in the neck (SPOILER -- a couple times, it's against his own soldiers).  Anyway, you get the picture, he is quite well-known for his killer attitude.

Allie, in a surprise attack, is captured by Cobra, who threatens to kill her for the medallion.  Billy gives it to him, and he and his friends jump off a waterfall to avoid capture.

[SPOILER] A man is shot in the chest by a cross-bow bolt, saving his young friend, Billy, who immediately shoots the attacker with his slingshot, hitting the man right between the eyes (he is knocked out cold).  The old man dies in his arms.  This is the only "graphic" scene in the whole movie.  No blood, but we see the bolt hit the man, who staggers and falls to the sand.

A battle rages in the fortress and on the grounds of Cobra's territory.  The bad guy soldiers carry large, curved blades or spears.  Men are punched and kicked.  

Two characters fall into a pit of. . . lava?  At least, I think that's what it is.  

A boy is tied to stakes and it is implied the bad guys mean to burn him alive.  He is saved by Billy.  Kids are tied and gagged, pushed around by soldiers, and imprisoned.  Slaves are seen in a huge cavern working with rocks and chisels, or preparing food.  

[Love-y Content]
It is obvious that Billy and Allie, best friends, care for each other, but not it the lovey-dovey way.  Billy gives up the medallion, without much hesitation, when Allie's life is threatened.

Allie "flirts" with the young, arrogant king, Huko, before she realizes he's a young, arrogant jerk.

[Conclusion]
In concluding, this film was impressive.  Far better than I expected. The picture and acting was professionally well done.  The story and morals were intriguing and had the effect of drawing you in.  At least it did so on me.  :]

Overall, an awesome, family-friendly movie!

Sadly, those can be quite rare. . . However, if interested, here is a list of similar movies you may want to look into:
(from Burns Family Studios; not the best quality, but a good story)
(Warning: contains a couple expletives) 

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Good for all ages, as long as you are mindful of the peril and the obviously evil bad guy.


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1 comment:

Morgan said...

I really liked this movie, the acting was well-done and I even recognized some of the actors. Loved that Alex Kendrick was in the first part!