Tagline: Where the eagle meets the dragon
Cusack plays: Lucious, Roman solider
I was pleased to see this pop up on Netflix recently as I'm not sure that it got an UK cinema release, or if it did, it was very limited. It was also a pleasant distraction and reason for a break from essay writing. Had Cusack not featured this isn't something that would have particularly appealed to me, but I queued it up, poured a drink and got ready to experience Dragon Blade.
The plot sees a Chinese Silk Road protection squad (led by Jackie Chan) encounter a roman legion (headed by Cusack). Initially they square off, but then decide to work together to protect the Silk Road from the nasty Roman Tiberious (Adrien Brody, manically chewing the scenery). Various fights and buddy bonding moments ensue.
This is a mixed bag. It was primarily made for a non-Western audience, only half of it is in English, and I couldn't manage to turn the subtitles off for these parts, which only made the wooden script more obvious. It's also ridiculously obvious it's on a set rather than location. On the other hand, the action scenes (directed by Chan) are pretty decent.
We first encounter Cusack riding in, in slow motion, and he's pretty good. Great to see him not playing a vaping baddie for once! He and Chan develop quite the bromance and he's looking pretty good.
If you can stand a child actor singing like a little cherub, you might want to give this a go. It's fairly forgettable, but probably worth a watch. I haven't a clue how historically accurate it is!