3 reasons we're watching Jackie Chan's The Iron Mask this weekend
Blockbuster film out in UAE cinemas on Thursday
IN TERMS OF brand new movie releases the last few months have been more barren than a Star Wars desertscape. While recent weeks have garnered some relief, this Thursday looks to be a turning point with the opening of the Jackie Chan-Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer The Iron Mask or Viy 2: Journey to China/ Journey To China: The Mystery Of The Iron Mask as it is called elsewhere. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, right? This historical caper is just what we need this long weekend and this is why.
It stars 'Dubai's Jackie Chan'!
The UAE's golden boy, we love it when martial arts expert Chan decides to film over here as he has done twice now for Kung Fu Yoga (2017) and Vanguard (2019), so any movie starring our local hero is one to watch. In The Iron Mask Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up for a roller coaster ride through the 18th century. Following English traveller Jonathan Green (Jason Flemyng who also starred in 2009 Dubai feature City of Life) as he journeys from Russia to China, the trio along with the brilliant Xingtong Yao encounter dragons, wizardry and a dragon king in an incredible but deadly adventure.
The story is based on legends
Why have one legend when you can have many? The Iron Mask melds well-known tales to form its plot. Firstly, the supposed replacement of Russian emperor Peter the Great is a central device. On March 9, 1697, a delegation of fifty people, among whom was Peter the Great, went to Europe. This journey, which lasted until 25 August 1698, received the title "the Great Embassy". On his return to Peter took a number of edicts, which forever changed the image of Russia. The changes were so radical that a rumour began to spread the king had been replaced. Also included in the story is, as the title would suggest, the well-known Man In The Iron Mask legend: the tale of a prisoner, who could have been Louis XIV's twin brother, forced to conceal his face to mask his identity.
He said he'd be back
This is Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to the big screen after Terminator: Dark Fate (2019). The 72-year-old Austrian looks in fine form, initially (and almost as inexplicably as all those New York/ LA cops he played in the '80s and '90s) appearing in The Iron Mask as British soldier, James Hook.