Dragon Blade Jackie Chan, John Cusack, Adrien Brody. Directed by Daniel Lee. Rated R. Available on Video on Demand.
A huge hit in China, Dragon Blade comes to the U.S. in a much smaller-scale release, with about 25 minutes trimmed from its running time. That might account for the incoherence of the plot, but it wouldn’t make a difference in the cheesy dialogue, hammy acting and overbearing score. Poorly written in both Chinese and English, Dragon Blade teams Jackie Chan with John Cusack and Adrien Brody in the story of a Roman legionnaire (Cusack) and a Chinese peacekeeper (Chan) fighting against an evil Roman consul (Brody) along China’s Silk Road in 48 B.C. Chan can still pull off a cool stunt or two, but Cusack and Brody are painful to watch in their ill-suited roles, and writer-director Daniel Lee presents a series of emptily triumphant moments that never fit together. Chinese producers spent tens of millions of dollars trying to make Dragon Blade look like a Hollywood blockbuster, but they succeeded mainly in making it feel like a giant waste of money.