18 July 2024
Shaina West in JADE watch UK Trailer

Film Review – Jade (2024)

Organised chaos, brutal martial arts action with extravagant individual pizazz delivered with consummate precision by self taught hard hitting flash fighter, The Samurider, Shaina West.

Not to be confused with erotic political thriller Jade (1995) this follows a tale of the best dish served cold by Jade, handy with a knife, the samurai sword wielding soul sister adept in bone breaking self defense goes all out on a personal level taking down variously linked criminal identities to the death of her brother.

Trigger happy crime boss kingpin, Tork (Mickey Rourke) calls the shots but lurks around casually like he knows something nobody else does, when agitated even his own henchmen are susceptible to being shot randomly.

At the forefront there’s a hard-drive containing mysterious content.

Cops will kill other cops for it. Gangland members are in cahoots with fellow criminals whilst also in the pockets of corrupt police.

Cinematography, in particular tracking shots, is exceptional, whilst anime influences are a benefit to proceedings.

It’s no surprise, The Matrix (1999) has a lot to answer for with the overuse of ‘bullet-time’, that ground-breaking slow motion photography technique in a thousand action movies.

The violent extravagance is worthy here, mostly due to the brilliance from stunt performer, actor West. Running, jumping, swirling and locking in on her combatants, they have no chance against her powerhouse coup de grace.

One of the veterans of martial arts, icon Mark Dacascos (Double Dragon 1994 – Cradle 2 the Grave 2002) plays her mentor and informant officer Reese. They have excellent chemistry, further scenes together would’ve been appreciated.

Enterprisingly focussed actor, Katherine McNamara (popular in DC TV universe as Mia Smoak) is more than meets the eye as Layla, a supposed confidant to Jade.

Among the memorable inventiveness outside wild fighting hostilities, there’s an appropriately cool, ‘Passenger 57’ reference, torture by ‘lemon juice’ and death by ‘jerry curl comb’. Unfortunately the score is awful, adding zero ambience. Silence using natural sounds within, would have been a smarter option.

Director James Bamford, also with a stunt background, has made a brutal film.

No classic, but good solid self taught action star Shaina West headlining, is the reason to watch. Former heartthrob Rourke remains a screen presence as a somewhat effective villain, although seems to be on his own unique planet.

★★ 1/2

Action, Thriller | 15 | USA, 2024 | 24th June 2024 (UK) | 101 Films | Dir.James Bamford | Shaina West, Mickey Rourke, Mark Dacascos, Katherine McNamara, Keith Jardine, Steven Michael Quezada

You can follow Shane A.Bassett on X @movie analyst


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