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Trivia / Goofs
Times of India
: Set in the era of Han Dynasty's reign in China, Huo An (Jackie Chan) heads the Silk Route protection squad - an armed group that guards the Northwest border of the region. Falsely framed under smuggling charges, the law decrees him to re-fortify a dilapidated city. Fate drives Roman General Lucius (John Cusack) and his platoon for shelter with Huo and an uncanny friendship blooms between the two men separated by ethnicity, but brought together by destiny. Lucius has fled his homeland following a coup and seeks Huo's help to save the crown prince Publius (Jozef Waite) from the evil designs of his treacherous brother Tiberius (Adrien Brody).
: Chan's Dragon Blade is a pleasant surprise, executed with visible grandeur and can claim to be an earnestly performed, crisply edited, smart fare. The movie primarily invests in attaining technical finesse to remain close to the widely understood connotation of commercial cinema. Forgoing the attempt to explore the frictional intricacies of Silk Route, the film's slim understanding of its setting shows starkly in its tendency to avoid a political comment. But, what works in its favour is the satiating after-feeling which gives you bang for the buck.
Director Daniel Lee waives his curlicue tendencies and constructs a film that is strongly rooted in emotional drama and has the brisk deftness of a thumping action-flick. It has stellar stunts, choreographed to perfection, bringing in Asian infantry that is two-millennia old along with Western cavalry of the same time, mixing it up with staple Kung-fu moves.
Drawing its fuzziness from the pulsating drama, Cusack and Chan astutely portray their camaraderie. The actors bring forth the anguish of their characters profoundly with minimal words. Cusack adds gravitas to Lucius, bringing a stoic feel to him. Chan is intense, displaying an unusual energy. The Roman-Sino bonding is beautifully depicted, especially in a scene that has soldiers from either sides engaging in a drill duel.
Of all of Chan's recent escapades, this is the only one that not only lives up to his desired ambitious streak but also has a warm touch to it.
Mel Gibson was first approached for the lead role.
John Cusack and Adrian Brody collaborated for the second time for this film, the first being The Thin Red Line.
This is the seventh Jackie Chan film with Dragon in its title.
Adrian Brody had previously appeared in 1942 and this is his second Chinese film appearance.
This is John Cusack's first Chinese venture.
The film makes no comments on the wars on the Silk Route.
Set in the Han Dynasty's reign in China, the story revolves around Huo An (Jackie Chan). Huo, is a hun who loses his family and was brought up by Han general Huo Qubing. Huo An grows up with strong values of peace and courage instilled in him. He becomes the leader of the protection squad of Silk Route that maintains stability and harmony in the region.
Falsely framed under smuggling charges, the squad members are sent to Wild Geese Gate, a marooned town to undergo forced labour. Huo AN soon discovers that laborers are mean, unhelpful and can't bring themselves to trust one another. The crucial bonding factor was missing from the group.
Roman General flees with his legion to the east following a coup in his country. Lucius was entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the young crown prince Publius, of the Parthian Empire. Publius falls prey to the evil plots of his treacherous brother Tiberius who wants to kill the little child. Lucius and his platoon arrive at Wild Geese Gate. After a preemptive attack and a needless duel between Huo An and Lucius, a sandstorm brings the fight to a halt. Huo An gives Lucius shelter and discovers his story about how he had to flee to save the young child who was blinded by his evil brother.
The Wild Geese resurrection was to be completed in 15 days which was an impossible feat. But Lucius offers to help them with his designs and ensures that it will be complete in the stipulated time. Huo An's efforts bring together men from all the countries to complete the job at hand. The day of the task being completed, there is a celebration where Huo An sings a festive song in Chinese and young Publius sings the anthem of his kingdom which moves everyone to tears.
Tiberius and his army reach the Silk Route and approaches the Wild Geese Gate. When Huo An finds this out, he goes back to find reinforcements from friends. An ally and team-mate of Huo An ditches him which delays his return. In the meantime, Lucius is captured by Tiberius and tortured. the little Publius' caretaker commits suicide with the child in his arms.
Huo An loses his wife in an attck but he still goes back to discover what happened while he was gone. Huo An goes to Tiberius in the pretext of surrndering but actually to rescue Lucius who is blinded and kept in a solitary cell. Lucius begs Huo An to relieve him of his pain and entrusts him with the charge of his army. Keeping the promise made to his dying friend, Huo An's allies and Tiberius' army battle it out. Huo An's allies were almost defeated when the Parthian army comes on field and accuse Tiberius of killing the ruler as well as the crown prince. What follows in a hand-fight between Huo An and Tiberius. The latter kills himself and dies singing the anthem of the legion.