Dragon Blade (a movie review)

This is an epic film with emotional tugs, a good storyline, and martial arts and swordplay action aplenty. The movie is inspired by true events during the Han Dynasty in China, although to what extent history actually evolved as depicted is unclear. However, it makes for a good story about an elite corps of Roman soldiers led by General Lucius, played by John Cusack, traveling through a popular trade route of that era. Known as the Silk Road, the area is protected by a small group of Asian pacifists led by Huo An, played by Jackie Chan. Both Lucius and Huo An cross paths and start out as adversaries. As they spar one-on-one in the desert, a fast-moving sandstorm forces Lucius to accept Huo An’s offer to stop fighting and agree to his invitation to stay at the city Huo An is in the midst of rebuilding.

What brings Lucius to travel through Huo An’s territory is his need to visit an ally located on the other side of the Silk Road. Lucius’ mission is to seek support from this ally because his ward’s brother, Tiberius — played by Adrien Brody — has usurped his present leadership position in the Roman Empire by (secretly) killing his father and blinding his young brother, Plubius, who was to have been the rightful leader. Between that conflict and the other clashes underlying the story, the film takes on the theme of how people of different ethnicities can live together in harmony.

The story alone sounded good but the actors here made me want to watch the movie even more. As you guessed it, they are among some of my favorites. I list below the movies I’ve seen with them in it and rank them according to what I enjoyed most.

Adrien Brody
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Darjeeling Limited
The Pianist
Cadillac Records
Midnight in Paris
Third Person
Predators
Wrecked
Splice
The Brothers Bloom
King Kong
Summer of Sam
American Heist
The Thin Red Line
The Village

Jackie Chan
Around the World in 80 Days
The Spy Next Door
The Karate Kid
Shanghai Noon
Rush Hour

John Cusack
Love & Mercy
The Bag Man
Grand Piano
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
The Raven
2012
The Numbers Station
The Factory
Shanghai
Hot Tub Time Machine
War, Inc.
1408
Pushing Tin
The Frozen Ground
Maps to the Stars
Adult World
Grace is Gone
The Ice Harvest
Must Love Dogs
Runaway Jury
Identity
America’s Sweethearts
Serendipity
Being John Malkovich
Cradle Will Rock
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Bullets Over Broadway
High Fidelity
Con Air
Shadows and Fog
Grosse Pointe Blank
City Hall
The Grifters
The Road to Wellville
True Colors
Stand by Me
Broadcast News
The Thin Red Line
Say Anything
Better Off Dead . . .
Sixteen Candles
The Sure Thing

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