[ THE SCENES ] there is more-than-enough going-on in this movie so beginning with a satellite hovering over Earth guiding coordinates to a team of action-heroe-looking Chinese-Americans with futuristic tech gear is a turn-off . aside from that : differing armies of various cultures, be it Romans, Persians, Mongols or Chinese (addition of Japanese samurais here would have ensued a cult-following) in the same scenes are curiously intriguing amid grand perspective of mountains and deserts : make a joyful visual spectacle throughout the movie .
[ THE STORY ] although the Chinese protectorate of Western Regions would have been a mighty army, here they appear more as negotiators . tribes along the Silk Road had quarrels of their own, when in-comes two fractions of the Roman Empire .. might have stuck if approached in a more time-line-based orderly, kindly manner since the melting-pot of differing cultures and armies already confuses the whole set-up .
[ MAIN CHARACTERS ] big short-comings on this aspect as the boy-prince has no character, Jackie Chan is too familiar on comedies that this feels awkward and John Cusack is too cute to be an out-cast Roman general – although should be credited for looking-great in a Roman legion outfit . Adrien Brody who has done modern assault action in Predators 2010, might have made it here if he didn’t act like he won almighty general-ship on a poker game -_- but thank all the Gods, warriors and merchants who have protected the Silk Road long before DHL, bullet trains and jumbo jets : Laure Pester as the righteous Persian Queen comes to save the players in the end .
the eventual ending-scene where the Roman legion ride side-by-side with the Chinese army, should be educational viewing for United Nations over the Third Millennium .
over-all, pity this could have been an epic if done differently but I thank Daniel Lee for returning us to a fantastic age when inter-cultural trade flurished, eventually giving way to sea-faring adventures, Christie’s and eBay //
– Ah, Anthony and Cleopatra, Korea Expat BLog –