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.
Thongs and Octopus accept a job from their landlord: kidnap a baby. Soon, the baby awakens strong paternal feelings in the two crooks, leading to complications when it comes to handing him over to his possibly crazy gang boss grandfather.
Archeologist Jack keeps having reoccurring dreams of a past life, where he is the great General Meng Yi, who is sworn to protect a Korean Princess named Ok-Soo. Jack decides to go investigate everything with his friend William.
When corrupt Roman leader Tiberius arrives with a giant army to claim the Silk Road, Huo An and his group of trained warriors teams up with an elite legion of defected Roman soldiers led by General Lucius to maintain the delicate balance of power in the region. To protect his country and his new friends, Huo An gathers the warriors of thirty-six ethnic nations together to fight Tiberius in an incredible epic battle.Written by
In real history, Crassus invaded Parthia, and most of his army was destroyed. The film builds on the unproven notion that some Roman prisoners managed to reach China. See more »
Success doesn't depend on how many you are, but on how determined you are.
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International version is 24 minutes shorter. Among the cuts are a 4 minute scene at the start of the film about modern day archaeologists visiting the ruins of the city. Many scenes featuring Huo's wife Xiu Qing are also cut. See more »
Dragon Blade has some significant flaws, but its high production value might appeal to casual audience as mild crowd pleaser
Epic historical war movies are easily marketable, they have a certain hook to captivate audience, especially when big budget and A-list actors are involved. Dragon Blade couples together many aspects from similar movies. With its grand production some of these work fairly well. However, it tries too hard to please viewers with inept script and poor direction that the movie becomes unoriginal, even to the point of cringe-worthy.
Huo An (Jackie Chan) is an officer of Silk Road tasked to maintain peace in a land divided by many countries. Soon, he's drawn by the turmoil and political struggle as conspiracy of Roman Empire knocks on his door step. The story admittedly has merits, there are a few subplots that are decent enough, although the pacing drags on way too much on unity issue. The main message that it wants to push is how many tribes or Silk Road can exist, this could be a great if the movie doesn't consistently shove it in the most heavy-handed way.
Jackie Chan is a star in his own right. He's not that well versed in acting, but audience would know what to expect at this point. John Cusack holds his own, but frankly he's not very interesting. The choice for child actor isn't that great either, this is an obvious bait to draw audience sympathy. Still, some of the Chinese actors are pretty good as they look more natural. Props to Adrien Brody, he alone raises the acting level. A beastly antagonist, he delivers a menacing on-screen persona.
For setting and costumes, the movie puts a lot of effort. Design is flamboyant, it almost looks like a high profile video game set. Each character has their distinct look which is quite appealing to showcase diversity. Choreography is fine as well, this is a strong point of Chinese movie. The fights are engaging with many details in movement, meticulous array of gimmick and different fighting style. At least it got the warfare department covered.
Cinematography, on the other hand, is bad till the point of cringe-worthy. The scenes are badly paced and often recycled, some scenes are even needlessly repeated several times. There's no logic on flashback of events that just occurred, it doesn't add to emotional value, instead it makes the movie that much boring. It also spams slow motion in insufferable rate, not to mention with overly aggressive soundtracks that attempt to sell the scenes with cheesy tone. It's as if the movie is constantly yelling, "Intense! Emotion! Sadness!"
Dragon Blade is an odd endeavor in epic historical film, it copies too many aspects of already known formula in hope that the success can be transmitted here. It has choppy direction and all sorts of issues, but the movie sometimes brings some good elements, which might just be enough for light entertainment.
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