Category: Movies, Reviews
By Ryan Javier This new blockbuster, which has raked in over 100 million dollars since its theatrical opening on February 19th in China alone, will not be available in the US for some time. Dragon Blade stars Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Adrien Brody. The film, although rooted in traditional Peking Opera, is after all a Jackie Chan Movie, and is filled with all the expected idiosyncrasies that are Chan hallmarks, including slapstick and physical comedy. And a whole lotta kicking. Chan stars as Huo An, leader of the Protection Squad, a group of hardened soldiers tasked with guarding the famous Silk Road trading route for all of China’s 36 nations. After being wrongly accused and disgraced, Huo and his men are exiled and find themselves on a work crew at a crumbling village. Tasked with the daunting mission rebuilding the fallen city, Huo and his men must work together and form alliances with the unlikeliest of friends- the Romans. As Huo begins to rally the workers within the city walls, a legion of beleaguered Roman soldiers appear outside the gates. General Lucius, played by John Cusack, and his men are offered food, water and shelter and in exchange, help the Chinese to finish the rebuilding of the city. A wonderfully imaginative CG-heavy montage of all of the men rebuilding the walls together follows, making for pretty rad eye-candy. Meanwhile, the cruel Roman Consul, Tiberius, who is played by Adrien Brody, travels with his army across the orient. While we begin to learn of the possibility of a feud between Lucius and Tiberius, seedy deals and pacts between the Consul and the 36 Nations begin to dissolve and that’s when the action really intensifies. As a Peking Opera, the film is built with elements from to action to drama to romance- all of which is overlaid on beautiful and often breathtaking CG backdrops and played upon comedic undertones. As with all his films, Jackie Chan performed all his own stunts and Dragon Blade has some pretty amazing stuff. The climax of the film features a sequence of an enormous battle on a scale that rivals the final LOTR film. The movie is not yet rated by the MPAA, but I would suggest that Dragon Blade be the equivalent of a PG-13.  

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