Dragon Blade Review – A Spectacular, Grand Movie I Want to Go See Again!


Happy Sunday!

How is your weekend coming along? We went to SM Megamall yesterday to go malling and while there, claim my free Starbucks drink. Unfortunately, the Starbucks system was offline and they couldn’t process the claim. Better luck next time, huhu! 

We checked the movies showing at the cinema and decided on Jackie Chan’s new movie: Dragon Blade. Fifty Shades of Grey is not available to watch at SM Cinemas on principle, and I really respect this decision by SM. Restores my faith in humanity that at least here, principle trumps commercial profit. Not that we would have watched 50 Shades, anyway. If there’s a meme going around that says “Twilight: Still a better love story than 50 Shades of Grey“, the movie has problems. There’s also the matter of 50 Shades being known as soccer-mom-porn.

Dragon Blade

Have I been out of the loop? Because I didn’t know Jackie Chan had a new movie out until I saw the poster/standee outside the cinema. I haven’t seen any trailer of Dragon Blade while watching movies.

But that’s probably a good thing, because I went in to the movie not knowing what to expect – except that Romans and Chinese met a long, long time ago. I was all like, REALLY? Is it true? My archaeological interests piqued. John Cusack is one of my favorite actors and I was positively intrigued wondering why he would take part in a Jackie Chan movie. Jackie Chan movies usually only have B-list or no-name Hollywood actors. This time they have not only John Cusack, but Adrien Brody, too!

I’ll try to write this review without giving away too much of the story.

Jackie Chan stars as Huo An, the leader of the Silk Road Protection Squad, whose job it is to keep the peace along the Silk Road. John Cusack is a Roman general named Lucius.

THE GOOD

I like this movie. I’m a simple girl and easy to please when watching movies and tv shows, okay? Jackie Chan’s acting has definitely improved! I cried so much in this movie! It’s not a drama, but still… wonderful acting by Jackie Chan and John Cusack! Even with a language barrier, I could feel the strong bond of friendship between them. This is where the movie shines – when the people of different races and nationalities start working together, start respecting each other, and start becoming loved and trusted friends — it was so moving that I cried, and cried. J was laughing at me again, he said wala pa ngang namamatay, umiiyak ka na (nobody has died yet, and you’re already crying)

Naturalment, when people started dying, I cried some more, hahaha.  In a short amount of time, seeing their friendships develop, understanding them, I already felt na close na kami (that we’re already close friends), hahaha.

I was quite happy with the fight scenes between John Cusack and Jackie Chan. I didn’t know John Cusack had it in him! It was really very believable. The fight scenes, the costumes, the city-building scenes, the different armies — just awesome! it was like my Age of Empires came to life right in front of me! I felt so immersed in the scenery. John Cusack brought the intensity. I don’t know how else to describe it, but that if you had played Age of Empires, imagine all those different armies coming to life and fighting. IT WAS GRAND!

It was great to see different fighting styles – brawly Roman style vs the more stylized Chinese martial arts. The movie didn’t scrimp on these scenes – there are a lot of fight scenes! This movie delivers in terms of fighting – there are sword fights, there are exhibition fights, there’s archery, there’s even some rock throwing, and all the nationalities of note in that area at that time were there and got in on the fight.

THE SO-SO

The theme of the movie is about different nationalities coming together, learning to respect each other, and learning to be friends. It does seem contrived at times and felt a bit like propaganda, but doesn’t really detract from the overall enjoyment of the movie.

While watching the movie – sometimes it felt like I was watching a western movie like Gladiator or 300, sometimes it felt like I was watching an Asian movie. I don’t know if this was intentional.

Accuracy of the movie: I don’t really care  but it did lead me to Google “Roman legion silk road”.

Jackie Chan sings! A lot! But he’s Jackie Chan and it’s his movie – he can sing if he wants to. Just accept it. 

When we saw the movie, Jackie Chan was speaking in English. No offence meant, but sometimes I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I also wondered how they all communicated with each other though, I doubt everyone spoke the same language at the time.

I still don’t get why the movie was called Dragon Blade. Also, who were the two Chinese “archaeologists” who found the ruins at the beginning of the movie supposed to be? What is their significance to the movie? I’m thinking possible reincarnation of Jackie Chan and John Cusack’s characters? If you know, please enlighten us in the comments! I did like it when they played O Mio Babbino Caro, one of my favorite opera arias.

CONCLUSION

I would definitely re-watch this movie over and over again when it comes out on DVD. They don’t make movies like this anymore with thousands upon thousands of extras. This is a cut above Jackie Chan’s recent movies.

If you like grand movies with a lot of armies fighting, awesome sets and costume, spectacular scenery, and camaraderie, go see this movie.

If you liked the “opera song” they played, here it is. Enjoy!

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xoxo,

The Barat Queen

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