Jackie Chan has provided top notch entertainment for over 40 years now and has grown as a film maker. While his latest movies are different from what he used to make I can't say that this is entirely a bad thing.
Dragon Blade is an example of Jackie Chan new style where he still manages to provide some excellent action but at the same time can have John Cusack and Adrien Brody in an Asian film and makes them like they belong. I was very skeptical at first of how these Western actors would fit in. And certainly some scenes must have felt a little different for them because it required a more Asian style of acting. Meaning being extremely melodramatic. In the grand scheme of things John Cusack and Adrien Brody made an effort to not ham it up for which I am very grateful since I was very worried they both would think this project would be some kind of joke. Melodrama rules in this Jackie Chan film and if you are not used to this especially if you were expecting old Jackie Chan then you will have a real hard time liking Dragon Blade. But the drama does go side by side with a political and very positive message that most of us will appreciate. Even when this message is kinda forced upon the viewer. Strangely enough because of this message all of the events become more dramatic and meaningful. It actually makes you care about the majority of the characters and it is one of the first East meets West collaborations that made me feel that way. Dragon Blade is a good example of what happens when you put a little effort in providing context for the action. You get so much more involved in the action when you care about the characters. You don't want them to see get hurt. It makes the action scenes so much more exciting. On top of that the fight and battle scenes are very well choreographed. Even Cusack and Brody come across as incredibly skilled fighters. The setting is also phenomenal. Almost brilliant really. Where else would you have people from different nations encounter each other. I was very impressed with the scale of this project.
Dragon Blade reminds me why I love movies so much. For two hours you are put in another world where a lot of fiction is made seem real that completely grabs you by the throat. And doesn't let you go until it has finished. Dragon Blade is exciting throughout and immensely epic. Which surprised me. I think personally the title is a little misleading and might give people the wrong impression. This movie is not some old school fantasy / wuxia flick. Sure most of what occurs in the film is made up but a little of it is based on history (although very loosely of course). So don't make the mistake of expecting something like The Forbidden Kingdom. Dragon Blade is a far more superior film.Also read: