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Independent Film Review – Jade

Yes…I, like many, went through my phase of consuming martial arts films at a phenomenal rate. It was relatively easy to get through the Bruce Lee films because he never made that many but Jackie Chan seemed to be churning out a new one every week! It wasn’t all Far Eastern fare though, Jean-Claude Van Damme proved he could be very entertaining. Similarly it wasn’t just rough, tough chaps on offer…Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock caught my attention a number of times. 

But then I found myself growing out of that phase and, while I still occasionally enjoy a martial arts extravaganza, the genre isn’t my first port of call. But when the opportunity to watch Jade dropped in my lap I was quite happy to spend an hour and a half watching it. Jade is the story of a young woman who comes between a powerful businessman and a gang leader in their search for a hard drive that could damage the operations of Interpol. The woman is required to use her unique set of skills to retrieve the drive and make sure it ends up in the right hands.

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All That Crazy, Hard Core Training You Made Me Do

A short animation tells how Jade (Shaina West) and her brother, Bran, moved to the USA after their parents were brutally murdered in London. Now, this seems to be a wee bit silly for a number of reasons. First up, they appear to go from wherever they are living in the UK to living on the streets in New Mexico. Secondly, they moved from one country to flee a murder and go to another country where the murder rate is four times higher than the place they left. Then, to make matters worse, they get involved with a gang (something else that is more prevalent where they went to) and Jade ends up accidentally shooting her brother.

As a result of this Jade vows never to shoot another gun for the rest of her life. However, the usually potent cocktail of guilt and grief only sees her through the first hour or so before she comes over all John Woo with a gun in each hand. From then on it’s a case of using whatever comes to hand  and it’s surprising just how many samurai swords some people have lying around. It’s not exactly  like the old kung fu films of the seventies which had two ten minute fights in every quarter hour of footage but it tries to get there. What is old school is that Shaina West did all her own stunts.

Thanks To That I’m Still Alive

Jade is an action film directed and co-written by James Bamford. It is one of those high-octane thrillers being made by former stunt performers stepping to the fore. Shaina West has previously been seen, briefly, in Black Widow and The Woman King and now she is carrying the film. That is despite being fourth in the closing credits; she is the last mentioned in the opening ones but does get an “Introducing” tag. Mind you, she is up against the weight of Mickey Rourke as the bad guy, Tork. Fair play to him though, he does have a fair few scenes and it doesn’t come across like he dropped in, spent ten minutes on set, then took his cheque and left.

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The biggest plus though is the lead performance. While the script doesn’t give Shaina West much to work with, she does her best with the material. There’s potential for an engaging action heroine, but the film doesn’t quite capitalise on it. Mickey Rourke puts in a performance that is a bit more than a cameo. Maybe he needed the money to keep pursuing the Michael Jackson prize for most messed up face. Still, if you’re looking for an undemanding, entertaining action flick, Jade is definitely worth checking out. Jade will be released on digital on 24th June 2024.

Film Grade: B+

Don’t miss your favorite movie moments because you have to pee or need a snack. Use the RunPee app (Androidor iPhone) when you go to the movies. We have Peetimes for all wide release films every week, including Fly Me To The Moon, Despicable Me 4, A Quiet Place: Day One, Inside Out 2 and coming soon, Twisters, Deadpool & Wolverien and many others. We have literally thousands of Peetimes—from classic movies through today’s blockbusters. You can also keep up with movie news and reviews on our blog, or by following us on Twitter @RunPee. If there’s a new film out there, we’ve got your bladder covered.

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