The Iron Mask

Movie review by
Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media
The Iron Mask Movie Poster Image
Convoluted action-adventure sequel has lots of violence.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Triumph of good over evil. Solving problems with teamwork. Working with people from different countries. A village is stolen and its people oppressed. Violence is used to settle differences. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Green shows courage and perseverance in his quest -- exposing liars and defeating imposters. Chen is forced to hide her identity by pretending to be male. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a British prison guard but still has his Austrian accent.


Frequent but mostly cartoonish. Most fight sequences involve martial arts with punches, kicks, weapons such as swords and knives. These result in minor cuts, injuries. Guns are fired. Prisoners are whipped. Some characters fall to their deaths off-camera. A dragon plays a prominent role.


A couple are discovered in bed together, but they are both clothed.


Use of "s--t" and "bastard."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters occasionally drink alcohol. No drunkenness is depicted.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Iron Mask is an action-adventure sequel to The Forbidden Kingdom, set in a fictional early 1700s and starring Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels). Violence is frequent but is heavily choreographed and unrealistic, with very little blood. But weapons are used, including swords, knives, and guns. There is also a dragon that provides some of the movie's more perilous moments. Almost all of its promotional material features Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator) and Jackie Chan (Rush Hour), despite the fact that they appear in only minor roles. However, the pair's scenes do provide the movie's more comedic moments. Occasional profanity includes "s--t" and "bastard." Characters also drink alcohol, but never to excess. The movie's alternative titles are Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask and Viy 2.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byYetch November 21, 2020

A complete disaster of a film

The story is so poorly told that we were lost in the first ten minutes, even after rewatching this ridiculously disorganized and needlessly complicated mess. A... Continue reading
Adult Written byB S September 7, 2020

Really good low budget movie

Give it a chance. Just a good imaginative story with fun characters
Teen, 17 years old Written byLets get SERIOU... July 9, 2020

Bloddy and very Violent Movie

People are stabbed, shot and whiped to death.
In sequenced gore.
Uses of S**t and Bas***d and etc.

What's the story?

Set in the early 1700s, THE IRON MASK finds British cartographer Jonathan Green (Jason Flemyng) tasked with mapping the China-Russia border. Joining him on his mission is Chen (Xingtong Yao), who initially must masquerade as male. As part of his mission, Green must also reveal the true identity of Russian monarch Peter the Great (Yuri Kolokolnikov) -- who is mistakenly imprisoned and forced to wear an iron mask -- so that he can return home and be united with his true love.

Is it any good?

It is a confusing mess of a movie, with an overcomplicated story and distractingly bad CGI. The number of scenes in which actors are dubbed when the dialogue is not in their native language is also jarring. The first half of the movie features both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan. But their storylines quickly give way to those of Flemyng's Green and Yao's Chen, as the latter reveals herself as a princess in hiding who wants to return to her homeland and overthrow an oppressive regime. It makes for an awkward, clunking transition.

The characters of Peter the Great and Miss Dudley -- played by Russian actors Kolokolnikov and Anna Churina, respectively -- also feel bolted on for an audience that broke Russian domestic box office records with The Iron Mask's prequel, The Forbidden Kingdom. Who the characters are, where they are supposed to be from, and their motivations are all poorly explained throughout. Forgettable bad guys are introduced and then defeated, and mystical creatures seem to appear mainly to liven up the action as the movie becomes increasingly tedious and difficult to follow.

Talk to your kids about ...

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy adventures

Themes & Topics

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