Jackie Chan’s Newest Movie ‘Dragon Blade’ Looks Absolutely Bonkers

Dragon Blade, starring Jackie Chan
Source: Shanghai Film Group

Jackie Chan has long been a luminary of martial arts movies, known for his creative fight sequences, his legendary library of movies, and doing virtually all of his own stunts throughout his career. He’s largely regarded as one of (if not the) greatest martial artists of cinema we’ve ever seen, and his body of work speaks for itself. Even with misguided efforts like the two Rush Hour sequels, it’s still hard not to be excited every time a new Jackie movie is on the horizon, and for good reason. For his latest effort though, we’re not quite sure what to think. It’s called Dragon Blade, it’s about the Roman Empire going to war with the Han Dynasty, and that doesn’t even begin to sum up just why this might be one of the crazier releases of the next year.

The pure lovable insanity of Dragon Blade runs deep. Really deep. Its budget checks in at $65 million, making it the most expensive Chinese language film ever made. Topping even that, it’s a Chinese language film without a United States distributor (or release date) starring Americans Adrian Brody and John Cusack alongside Chan. Thanks to the trailer released this last week, we even get a closer look at some questionable dialogue that features lines like “he took the place in your heart that belonged to me” (delivered from Brody to Cusack in what looks like the ultimate Roman bromance). It’s based on a story involving a few Romans wandering into China, but seems to play fast and loose with history, much in the same vein as contemporaries like Pearl Harbor and Exodus: Gods & Kinds.

Despite the fact that the trailer is entirely in English, the finished product will feature mostly Mandarin with English subtitles, as it likely begins its search for a stateside distributor to help make back its massive budget. The plot itself is the pseudo-historical drama modern cinema deserves, as the Roman Empire seeks to unite the Silk Road under their banner, facing resistance from the Chan-led Chinese army (for anyone wondering, no, none of that ever actually happened). IMDB’s synopsis is even briefer (and somehow far more appropriate): “Lost Roman soldiers navigate their way through China.” Based on what we’ve seen so far, we have a hard time disagreeing with the assumption that Brody and Cusack do indeed look a tad lost.

All this being so, Dragon Blade may very well end up being a crazy adventure romp that manages to be so bad that it comes full circle and is actually entertaining. Either that or it’ll truly be a $65 million mess. Given the amount of money that was poured into making the Rome vs. Han Dynasty showdown that every 12-year-old boy has ever wanted, we can only hope that somehow it ends up landing. Meanwhile we have to see if the studio responsible for the film can manage to sell it to American audiences. Recognizable names like Brody, Cusack, and Chan certainly help that cause, but we’ll see if that’s enough to let it see the light of day here in the U.S. The sheer insanity of the premise makes us at least a little curious, so here’s hoping someone here takes a chance and lets it go wide.

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