Starring Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Flemyng, Rutger Hauer, Charles Dance, Xingtong Yao. Journey to China The Mystery of Iron Mask also known as Viy 2 the mystery of the Dragon Seal and also The Iron Mask.
A martial arts fantasy which tells the story of an ancient Dragon whose eyelashes grew deep into the earth leading the land to flourish and heal the suffering with tea plants. People came from far and wide to trade for the healing tea plant. The Dragon needed the people to aid her. They were called the white wizards. But greed and money corrupted some of the wizards leading to the curation of the black wizards led by a two-faced witch who has raised an army, seized the land and is trying to control the dragon.
With two of the most iconic stars Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger sharing screen time and a fight scene. The anticipation for this movie was huge. Kind of reminded me of Forbidden Kingdom when Jackie Chan and Jet Li were finally in a movie together.
Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask (Long An Co Mat) is the sequel to the Russian dark fantasy horror Viy also known as Forbidden Empire which I will check out now I know of it. It continues the story of cartographer Jonathan Green is who traveling the land trying to map the world with his new revolutionary approach.
The movie starts with Jackie Chan narrating the story of the Dragon whose eyelashes grew deep into the earth causing the land to be lush and tea plants to grow. The healing effects of tea plants attracted traders from all over the world. The Dragon created the White Wizards to help her with this task and look after her eyelashes. The Dragon created a magical seal and gave it to her most trusted wizard The Master and his daughter, Cheng Lan. Only they could trim the Dragons eyelashes.
Greed turned some of the white wizard’s evil. Black wizards were led by a two-faced witch who wants to control the dragon. She raised an army and took the Dragons cave. The seal was hidden for its protection and a great battle ensured with the white and black wizards but the black wizards were too powerful. The master and his daughter were imprisoned on opposite ends of the earth. With no one to trim the dragons eyelashes, they became heavy and she fell into a deep sleep. The witch now seeks the lost Dragon seal.
We see The Master (Thanh Long) imprisoned in the Tower of London. The Prison is run by James Hook (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who likes to give the prisoners a chance at freedom if they can defeat him in hand to hand combat. The Master is imprisoned with Mikhailov who is actually the Russian Tsar Peter the Great. A homing pigeon mistakenly delivers them a coded letter which is Jonathan Green trying to contact his love Miss Dudley (Anna Churina) through these letters and Jonathans narrating it tells the story with flashbacks of the first movie Viy 2014. So green was asked by Peter the great to map Russia. Green is now imprisoned in Moscow.
A Chinese boy helps him who actually happens to be Cheng Lan (Xingtong Yao). Mikhailov says he can help Green so using the homing pigeon, send their own letter to Miss Dudley who then informs her father Lord Dudley (Charles Dance) who in turn uses his connections to get Green released. Green is then paid to head east to charts new maps and he decides to take Cheng Lan with him.
Miss Dudley also visits the Tower of London to see Mikhailov. The Master and Mikhailov ask for her help escaping to save Green. She agrees, Mikhailov escapes but The Master is captured again. So Mikhailov and Miss Dudley stow away on a Cossack ship to find Green and Cheng Lan.
This is where the adventure really begins. Jackie Chan and Schwarzenegger only really have bit parts in the movie as Chan spends pretty much all the movie imprisoned in the Tower of London. He has one fight with Schwarzenegger trying to escape.
The scenery and set pieces all look pretty amazing. Even if they are CG especially this not being a Hollywood big-money release. Some of the CG could use a little work. The Dragon does look pretty good though.
For me, the stars of the show were the dark wizards. They were like end bosses from a game. So amazing 8-foot-tall bulky costumes with different power. One can control electricity and magnetism. One has a giant wheel-like horn on its back which deafens everyone. Another turns into mist and the last is just a big bulky powerhouse that smashes everyone.
In conclusion, it all felt like a lackluster Pirates of the Caribbean trying to live off the premise of the limited appearance of Jacki Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The always excellent Jason Flemyng looked a little out of place in ancient China with Dragons,. Golems and battles going off. Yao Xingtong would have made a great Mulan in the upcoming live-action. If you come for a Jacki Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. So you’re going to be left disappointed. Stay for Jason Flemyng and if you like fantasy adventure movies but don’t be expecting a martial arts action showpiece.