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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strongly promotes teamwork; various enemies agree to put aside their differences to work together. They accomplish great things and manage to defeat a much larger army.
Positive Role Models
Huo An prefers peace, though he does fight when necessary. He champions cooperation and friendship.
Violence & Scariness
Strong, bloody violence. Huge battlefield scenes with swords, spears, and arrows. Many deaths, bloody wounds, spurts of blood. Soldiers are hit with rocks and other large objects. A man's eyes are stabbed out, with bloody wounds. Slicing by a hidden blade on the heel of a boot. Swordfights. Broken arm. Severed arm. Children in peril.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
During a fight, a woman falls on a man; he catches her by cupping her breasts. Later it's implied that they're "married" since he inadvertently removed her veil during battle.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Soldiers drink heavily after battle on two occasions, without consequence.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dragon Blade is a martial arts battle epic that takes place around 50 B.C. and is based on a true story. Starring Jackie Chan and John Cusack, it features lots of action and fairly graphic violence, with bloody wounds and blood sprays, arrows piercing bodies, and broken and severed limbs. Plus tons of fighting with swords, spears, and arrows, as well as boulders and other handy items. The soldiers also drink enthusiastically after battles, and there's a bit of sexual innuendo when a character catches a falling woman by cupping her breasts. Despite the brutal violence, the movie has strong messages about teamwork and friendship. It's worth noting that the official U.S. release 21was trimmed by 25 minutes, and the storytelling suffers as a consequence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This Chinese battle epic features exciting, show-stopping fight scenes, but the storytelling in between is almost non-existent, as if lazily looking for ways to kill the time. (Given that the official U.S. release of DRAGON BLADE was trimmed by 25 minutes, it's possible that the original 127-minute cut was more cohesive.) Chan headed up planning the fight scenes, and even after so many years in the business, he's conjured up some beauties -- including a sequence in which Huo An saves his family with a length of blue silk and another in which the captain practices a choreographed battle-ballet with his men.
While Chan gets some good moments with his heroic, dignified character, Cusack looks pained trying to get through his dialogue, and Brody winds up with the short end of the stick as the sneering, one-dimensional villain. Some of the bit players are even more abysmal, shouting random lines designed as padding. Indeed, the movie's rhythm and editing seem entirely arbitrary. Better to skip this and look for the original cut.
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Our Editors Recommend
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