Jackie Chan's new movie, Dragon Blade, was released to the U.S. early September 2015 and I had a chance to watch what I hoped would be an interesting period action thriller.
Fair Use Poster - Wikimedia Commons
Dragon Blade is noted to be based on a true story centred on the Silk Road, the ancient 4,000 mile trade route from early Europe to China. Jackie Chan leads a squad of fighters who oversee the road. By historical accounts, Romans were keen on Chinese silk, though the movie is based on the incursion of an exiled Roman legion led by John Cusack, along the silk road. He is sheltering an important young boy.
Jackie doesn't want to fight and their two companies form an unlikely alliance.
While the storyline is interesting, the movie plays out less so. Editing is not good with some scenes cutting in without comprehensible lead up. Despite having rich historical/cultural elements to work with, this devolves into mostly an action movie of fight scenes.
Adrian Brody plays the sick Roman officer who comes chasing after Cusack only to be greeted by both Jackie Chan's forces as well as the deserting Cusack's. Brody is over the top evil though I enjoyed his portrayal.
Jackie tries to infuse some his trademark humour but I don't think it fits well in this setting. And there is a dearth of female persuasion. Jackie is married but his wife and family have scant exposure.