Critic Reviews



Based on 12 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The writer-director has overcome his tendency to weave florid plots that quickly run out of steam, here forging a coherent narrative that’s strong on physical and emotional drive.
Daniel Lee’s elaborate Chinese historical action epic Dragon Blade certainly gets points for creative casting, as well as its gorgeous widescreen visuals.
Committed performances, a hefty budget and assured hands behind the camera ensure that Dragon Blade delivers on its promise of sprawling battle scenes, intriguing culture clashes and budding bromances, where its giddily high concept and unlikely casting may so easily have seen it fail.
Exerting significant control over the film – from a screenplay filled with modern resonance to very effective production design – Lee just barely manages to overcome the jarring problem posed by its (mugging) American cast.
Village Voice
The picture never quite finds its tone: It's neither go-for-broke outrageous enough to be consistently funny, nor energetic enough to be viscerally entertaining. It's neither as bad as you might fear, nor as much fun as you might hope.
Whether it’s introducing random flashes of white screen or slowing down shots to a stuttered chop, Dragon Blade seems to be going out of its way to make sure the action never rises above the level of “watchable enough.”
Dragon Blade is the kind of nutsy maximalist entertainment that isn’t content merely to tap a handful of influences. Instead, it stuffs an entire encyclopedia of dicey ideas (visual, narrative, political) into a blender to create a wacky, eyeball-popping and -glazing extravaganza.
As Tiberius, who seems not to have been based on any Tiberius of history, Mr. Brody brings to the film a combination of heroin-chic and Basil Rathbone. Also, an extraordinary level of sadistic cruelty. People are burned alive, crushed like insects, hurled from rooftops. They may not deserve all this. But neither do we.
An epic in China, it’s been trimmed here in the States. But this movie didn’t need a cut, it needed a beheading.
Slant Magazine
Slacker and even less involving than the similarly terrible global kill-fest Last Knights, but easier to watch for the inadvertent camp value of two of the prominent performances.

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