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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Movies -> 
Dragon Blade
    2015-03-20  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Starring: Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody, John Cusack, Choi Siwon, Lin Peng, Mika Wang Director: Daniel Lee
NOT so long ago, Lunar New Year celebrations would not have felt complete for Hong Kong film fans without taking in a festive Jackie Chan movie (think 1992’s “Twin Dragons” or 1995’s “Rumble in the Bronx”). But while 2015 saw the action star’s latest film “Dragon Blade,” one would sigh that those days seem like long ago.

    By now, you should know that Jackie Chan movies just aren’t what they used to be. In fact, if you judged Chan’s movies by his output in the last decade, you would have been wondering what the fuss is all about. The “Shinjuku Incident,” “Forbidden Kingdom,” “CZ12,” “Police Story 2013” ... how many of these films can be mentioned in the same revered manner as classics such as “Armour of God,” “Police Story 1-3,” or “Project A?”

    In “Dragon Blade,” Chan plays Huo An, the commander of the Protection Squad of the Western Regions of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), who is wrongly accused of treason and sentenced to hard labor at the Wild Geese Gate city in the middle of the Gobi Desert.

    Meanwhile, a Roman general named Lucius (John Cusack) shows up with an army, and after a short skirmish, Huo finds out that Lucius is protecting a young prince he rescued from the tyrant general Tiberius (Adrien Brody).

    From here on, the story becomes fairly predictable. Lucius and Huo become friends, the Romans join forces with the multiracial prison community to rebuild the city, and of course, Tiberius eventually shows up at their doorstep to wreak havoc.

    Chan’s career has been littered with some godawful attempts at East/West crossovers, with “Forbidden Kingdom” and “Golden Medallion” among some of the more forgettable films he has done. But “Dragon Blade” somehow manages to come through a lot more positively than those previous efforts.

    Part of the reason is the presence of Cusack and Brody, two Hollywood actors who have their own illustrious careers and who are not likely to let the awe of appearing in a Jackie Chan movie overwhelm them. As the exiled Lucius, Cusack exudes the required gravitas for the role — steely, determined and tragic at the same time — while Brody (an Oscar best actor winner) is suitably dastardly as the evil Tiberius.

    Sure, some of the lines they have to deliver can be a little cringeworthy, and Brody in particular can’t seem to get anywhere without moving in slow motion, but having the two actors around immediately elevates the film above other recent East/West Chan flicks like “CZ12” or “Forbidden Kingdom,” which featured some C-list Western actors.

    While Chan’s intentions are noble, the movie’s anti-war message of peace and harmony can get a little too cloying and overbearing at times. The film isn’t content with merely conveying its message — it hammers it home every chance it gets, from warm, fuzzy scenes of people of all races coming together to rebuild a city to Chan’s numerous speeches about how it is his dream to see all races come together as a happy family.

    Director Daniel Lee also lays on the melodrama pretty thick, with some supposedly emotional or tragic scenes dragged out a little too long for comfort.

    Fortunately, there are enough action sequences in the movie to distract us from all the melodrama, with the standout scenes being Chan’s solo fights with Cusack and actress Lin Peng’s Lengyue. The major battle scenes, however, are a slight disappointment, over-edited with quick cuts, and there is just too much going on to make much sense of it all.

    Like many of Chan’s recent films, “Dragon Blade” starts out strongly only to be let down by an overdramatic and overbearing latter half. Still, compared to some of his recent duds, the movie is actually pretty watchable. It’s not perfect, and there is still plenty to gripe about, but it doesn’t make you cringe as much as “CZ12” or “Forbidden Kingdom” did, at the very least.

    Besides, if you are still expecting the type of Jackie Chan film he used to make in the 1980s, you’d be better off re-watching those old “Police Story” installments instead.

    The movie is now being screened in Shenzhen.

    (SD-Agencies)

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