14th Jan2016

‘Dragon Blade’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Jackie Chan, John Cusack, Adrien Brody, Si Won Choi, Peng Lin, Mika Wang, Yang Xiao, Taili Wang, Tin Chiu Hung, Shaofeng Feng, Sharni Vinson, Sung-jun Yoo | Written and Directed by Daniel Lee

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When corrupt Roman leader Tiberius arrives with a giant army to claim the Silk Road, Huo An teams up his army with an elite Legion of defected Roman soldiers led by General Lucius to protect his country and his new friends.

Dragon Blade is a film which goes on quite a journey. To begin with, you’ve got Jackie Chan and all the wacky jokes and complete badassery which follows him around. Throw in some swords, fighting, battles. Also, for the sake of it, let’s have a little musical number too. Not the dancing type, but the epic ‘everyone is singing about how great stuff is’ type. Then a splash of child murder and some more fights for the hell of it. That pretty much sums up Dragon Blade.

I, for one, enjoyed it. Not just because of the child murder (even though that’s always a laugh). Jackie Chan is on form as always and the choreography is amazing, as is to be expected. John Cusack’s character seems to go between wooden and awesome, never quite settling on one side, but he does provide enough of a personality to stand beside Chan. If I had one bone to pick with Dragon Blade, it would probably be the way they edited the film. Occasionally, the story seems to jump forward without properly explaining parts of the story like, for example, when Jackie Chan’s character, Huo An, goes from exiled prisoner to leading an army outside of the city within the change of a scene.

That being said, the pace of Dragon Blade never slows down and keeps the excitement going throughout. I could never say that this film was boring or poorly paced and it kept me watching right until the end. I also find it interesting that a film which seems to be preaching pacifism and peace as its main themes manages to have so much fighting in it. There is a battle scene at the end which even puts The Hobbit’s ‘Battle of the Five Armies’ to shame. After all, that one only had five armies. Barely a battle really.

Overall, Dragon Blade does what it sets out to do, which is to provide an entertaining film. Definitely worth seeing if you’re an action or a Jackie Chan fan. Even more so if you’re both.

**** 4/5

Dragon Blade is on limited release across the UK from tomorrow, January 15th.

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