Coming to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment and writer/director Oleg Stephchenko is the story of the IRON MASK.
Miss Dudley (Anna Churina) is miserable since the day her father Lord Dudley (Charles Dance) chased off the love of her life Jonathan Green (Jason Flemyng).Still receiving letter from him, she learns he is in Russia making maps for Peter the Great (Yuri Kolokolnikov) – or so he thought. Ending up in jail, Jonathan also meets Cheng Lan (Yao Xinglong) who is kind to him.
Receiving word to let Jonathan go, he makes one request and that is to take the young Lan with him. Their run on the road takes them to China where Lan is free to fight for the cause of her people. In an English prison, jailer James Hook (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has a mysterious Master (Jackie Chan) and a masked man Peter. Fighting for freedom, the two come together to find a way to escape but it is Peter who runs free.
Agreeing to take a medallion to the master’s daughter, another journey takes place only to discover that Jonathan and Lan are already there, along with the surprise of Miss Dudley! The medallion is needed to take on a Princess who wants the medallion to rule the world.
But not if those who fight for the people can help it!
Chan as the Master once again plays a quiet character who does not have much to say, but rather takes everything in and then makes the call. Chan has the chance to give us a little martial arts action as well watching feats of drawer checking heights. Of course, having the final scene with Schwarzenegger, he gets the chance to lament truths that are universal.
Schwarzenegger as Hook is the ruler of an English prison but, according to some, has a heart. Translated that means if you can beat him and get to the top of the ladder – well, you are free. When you are as big as Hook, you must give points for bravery at whoever tries it. This seems like a fun role for Schwarzenegger and it shows.
Flemyng as Green is a map maker and a artist that has been away from Miss Dudley a little too long. From England to Russia to China, he sees fantastic creatures as well as how people in power treat one another. Churina as Miss Dudley knows only one thing, she wants her man back and nothing is going to stop it from happening.
Xinglong as Cheng Lan know the culture and mythology of her people and has spent her years trying to bring back what has been lost. Lan’s travels are equally as extensive as Jonathan’s and fate bringing them together is just what they both needed to get to their destination. Kolokolnikov as Peter has been long away from his own home, but he is not about to return without helping those who made his freedom possible.
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IRON MASK is a fantasy film filled with creatures, martial arts and a mixture of mythologies. As with many films from Asia, the film is colorful and filled with flights of fancy. There are secrets and twists that weave this tapestry of storytelling with a cast that is as vast as the miles the story puts on the screen. There is also a moment to see Rutger Hauer giving us a look at his final performance.
It is actually fun to try and pick out the places the characters are, the creatures and their story as well as the final place and the story behind the dragon! Being a fan of dragons in all their guises, IRON MASK gives us a beautiful story about them and the loyalty of those who protect theirs.
In the end – sometimes you just need to really see the beauty of the world!