Enjoy the Goofy Nonsense of The Iron Mask Trailer
Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger star in what appears to be a fever dream?
As a pop culture junkie/entertainment writer, I’ve seen my fair share of movie trailers. Some are amazing, some are meh, but every once in a while you get a truly bizarre entry that makes you wonder: WTF is this movie and how soon can I watch it? Such is the case with The Iron Mask aka Viy 2: Journey to China.
(Stefon voice) This trailer has everything: Arnold Schwarzenegger! Jackie Chan! That guy from the Guy Ritchie movies (Jason Flemyng)! Dragons! The Great Wall of China! The Tower of London! Iron masks! Amulets! Knives flying through the air in slow motion!
But is this thing we’re watching, and where did it come from? To answer that question, we have to go back to 2005, when Russian producers decided to make a film of famed Russian author Nikolai Gogol’s Viy. The production starred Jason Flemying as 18th-century cartographer Jonathan Green, who finds himself battling demons in the forests of Eastern Europe. Over the next 7 years the film was cobbled together, surviving financial difficulties and a bizarre decision to reshoot the entire film in 3D after filming half the movie.
Viy hit theaters in Russia in 2014 and became a huge hit there, earning nearly $40 million. The film broke box office records in Russia, and eventually made it to VOD everywhere else under the titles Forbidden Empire and The Forbidden Kingdom (in the U.K.).
The sequel, Viy 2: Journey to China, aka The Iron Mask aka The Mystery of the Dragon Seal, is a co-production between China and Russia. Jason Flemyng reprises his role from the first film, but the trailer is less interested in him than it is in the two action movie titans of the 90s. I have so many questions about this. How much money did they pay Schwarzenegger and Chan to do this film? How long are they even in it for? Why does Arnold’s Beefeater guard have an Austrian accent (I mean, we all know the answer to that one).
And why do all the locations look like cut scenes from a video game? Who is wearing the iron mask? WHAT IS THIS MOVIE?! I have so many questions and this movie is offering me zero answers. The film has already been released in China and Russia, and will be available on VOD in April.
Will I watch it? Does a dragon require a magical seal to control it? (No really, does it though?)
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