So you must have heard about the movie Viy2: Journey to China or the Mystery of the Dragon seal, the year 2020’s megaflop.
Its trailer had people going crazy due to the coming together of Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. So what went wrong? In this article, we will know everything about the movie, from its plot, why did it flop and much more. Have a look at the trailer of the Mystery of the Dragon Seal.
About the movie The Mystery of the Dragon Seal
Journey to China: The Dragon seal’s mystery is a Russian-Chinese adventure movie released in the year 2019. Directed by Oleg Stepchenko and produced by Glen Fetisov, Alexey A. Petrikhin and, Sergey Selyanov.
The Mystery of the Dragon Seal is a sequel to the 2014 movie Viy: The forbidden empire, which was loosely based on Nikolai Gogol’s classic 1835 horror novel. The forbidden kingdom or Viy was the highest-grossing film of the year 2014. It gained so much appraisal from the viewers that the filmmakers decided to make a sequel to the movie.
The sequel goes on by many names like Journey to China, The Mystery of the Dragon seal, Viy 2, and The iron mask. The main cast includes Jackie Chan as Master, Jason Flemyng as Jonathan Green, Charles Dance as Lord Dudley, Arnold Schwarzenegger as James Hook, Xingtong Yao as Cheng Lan, Anna China as Miss Dudley, Yuri Kolokolnikov as Peter the great, Rutger Hauer as Ambassador, Ma Li is the witch and many more.
It is unnecessary to watch Viy or the Forbidden Kingdom (2014) because this movie’s storyline is not related to this film. Though the character of Jonathan Green appears in both of them, the storyline of The Mystery of the Dragon Seal is renewed.
The film is very vivid and striking with all its costumes, weapons, and mountings are real looking, and the sets are fantastic, especially the ones located in China.
The movie is full of adventure, outstanding action including martial arts forms, twisted plots, and a nice screenplay by some actors. There are also some hilarious moments for what our Jackie Chan is famous for. The movie plot depicts many medieval period lifestyles that were prevalent in China, Russia, and England.
It looks as if the film scenes and set up was inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Hobbits. There are many sea action scenes and pirate wars, including some magical gimmicks by Chinese witches. The movie was released first on the 16th of August, 2019, in China.
The Mystery of the Dragon Seal: Plotline Time
In the 2014 movie the Forbidden Kingdom, Jason Flemyng starred as Jonathan Green, who had an adventurous journey in Transylvania and the Romanian countryside.
Jason Flemyng comes back in it’s the sequel the Mystery of the Dragon Seal as Jonathan Green again, but this time the plot is different, or completely new. The movie the Mystery of the Dragon Seal is set in the 18th-century era.
The English traveler and cartographer Jonathan Green sets out on an adventurous and thrilling journey, which eventually leads him to China. He keeps sending messages to his betrothed, Miss Dudley telling about all the adventures he is going through.
He has been ordered by Peter the Great to map for all his European possessions in the Russian far east, and this voyage leads him to China.
Here Jonathan experiences shocking encounters with unusual and dangerous creatures and makes breathtaking discoveries, meets a few Chinese princesses and martial arts lords. He even has an encounter with the king of all dragons, the Dragon king.
The movie’s center plot revolves around the king of all dragons, which resides in China’s south. There is a myth that his eyelashes when fell on the ground; they grow into plants that heal souls and helps people who suffer from some disease called ‘tea.’
This is where Jackie Chan arrives. The ‘white wizards’ were given the responsibility of taking care of his eyelashes and trimming them when necessary. Being the king of the dragons, his eyelashes were taken care of by the greatest white wizard ‘the master,’ our Jackie Chan, and his daughter Cheng Lan. The dragon made a seal and gave it to them for protection.
The Black Wizards, who are greedy and use black magic to amass superiority, attack the dragon’s cave, and seize the seal. Their leader is “the two-faced witch.”
They abduct the master and his daughter, imprison and send them far away. This leads to the Dragon king getting asleep as his eyelashes go heavy without trimming.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the world, the iron-masked man, the Russian czar, escapes the Tower of London from the hands of Peter the Great and heeds Jonathan. Some people don’t know about the Iron masked man. He is part of French history. He was a mysterious prisoner held captive in France in the 17th century.
Now, on his way to China, Jonathan joins forces with a princess in the guise who claims that her throne has been captured by the vicious witch queen, Ma Li, who is using black magic and pretending to be the princess.
Meanwhile, Miss Dudley assembles forces with the Russians to find his betrothed love, Jonathan, because she is anxious about his safety. She comes adept as she knew everything about the weird creatures through the letters that Jonathan sent her.
Everybody meets at the climax, and there is a battle. The combat scenes are full of action, and the evil is overthrown. Princess gets back her throne, and dragon awakes from sleep and, the betrothed Miss Dudley and Jonathan unite.
Suggestion Time: You can find a review of the movie here, which might invite you to watch this movie if you haven’t already. Click here to read Movie Review: It’s Chan vs. Schwarzenegger, briefly, in ‘Mystery of the Dragon Seal.’
Why the Mystery of the Dragon Seal was not a Success?!
There are many reasons why this movie was not a blow and instead became a mega flop. It earned a mere five million dollars around the world on a budget of fifty million. The IMDB rating was 4.6/10, quite low.This was the first time the Russian and Chinese producers united to co-finance and produce a movie.
The movie is one twist of plots and overcomplicated. You won’t be able to understand what happens when. In one scene, you are in China, the other is in London, and next, you are with Miss Dudley. The side plots are stirred up together and a total mess.
The Iron masked man scenes are inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean but failed to persuade the viewer’s attention due to lack of an interesting plot play. Some scenes are satisfactory and will make you ask for a “once more,” but the whole two-hour movie will exhaust you.
There was too much use of a green screen. The sets, costumes, and assets were originally looking, but the computerized ones had the fake vibes.
The technical standards of the movie, The mystery of the dragon seal, are not too good. The sound editing and scene transitions were also not precise. The dubbing part is too glitchy.
The voice and facial expressions don’t harmonize. Some actors speak Russian, some Chinese, so you won’t be able to comprehend some dialogues. They even dubbed the Chinese and Russian dialogues in English, which was not necessary as the subtitles could have been enough. This made the scenes look quite uninteresting.
Another part not liked by Jackie fans is that he died suddenly in his cell when he could have gotten out. Further, even after dying in the climax, he is seen telling people about the mystery of the dragon seal, which was not understood by the audience. In the Mystery of the Dragon seal, the role of Jackie Chan was wasted. His role could have done a lot more than a few martial arts tricks, fights, and comedy scenes.
On the whole, if you sit with a popcorn bucket and start watching the movie, you will pay attention to only some scenes, only most of them that of Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the rest of the movie will go in a blur.
Positive things about the movie The Mystery of the Dragon Seal
Though some find the movie not worth wasting your two hours, some of the scenes and things do deserve appraisal.
First is the five-minute fight scene between the Master (Jackie Chan) and James Hook (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and it’s worth it. But the awful thing, it ends in about five minutes, and you will crave for more once it ends.
Though Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger take up the screen for a total of about twenty minutes, they help to make the movie a little more exciting. The martial arts fight scenes are also enjoyable, but they could have been much better if the plot was understandable.
Next are the comedy scenes. Jackie Chan is famous for his effortless comedian style, and he does satisfy his fans in the Mystery of the Dragon seal too. They are a few, but worth it.
The medieval set up of the movie is also attractive. The Chinese sets are set up in a traditional Chinese look, and the costumes and props a perfect equip. All the Pirates of the Caribbean vibe is also there for Jack Sparrow fans. The martial arts actions performed by Chinese lords are further nice.
On the whole, even if the movie is not too good, these few things deserve appreciation. If you are someone who loves watching and analyzing cinema, here is an article for you to read about Top 5 Movies That Have Sequels That We Love To Watch.
Reaction to the Action: How was the movie received by People?
According to the reviews, some people did classify it as a family adventure movie that you can sit and watch with your kids. You can try to enjoy the movie if you ignore the odd bits and poor editing. The movie is not a total failure because some scenes and setups are quite interesting and eye-catching if you pay attention.
While most of the viewers found it to be a disappointment, it felt as if Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger were cast only for the movie’s name fame.
The people were quite excited after watching the trailer as two legends were going to share the scene, and it was amazing. But the main characters were boring. Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger appear only at the beginning and end of the film, but their awesome work couldn’t cover up for the not so good acting of other characters.
People found the CGI graphics of the movie the Mystery of the Dragon Seal quite interesting. Some people inferred that Russian history depicted in the movie was rather inaccurate, but we need to focus that the movie is mainly based on dragons. In all, it is not a bad movie as time pass. It does have great actors and some good scenes.
Possible Mistakes that could have been Averted while Making the Movie
The movie the Mystery of the Dragon Seal could have done much better in the market. Somethings did go incorrect during directing and producing the film. Some mistakes that were probably ignored did take a toll. The director should have tried to make things a bit more clear instead of a mess.
Some actors didn’t do justice with their roles. Their work was not up to the mark. This had to be caught sight of. They should have preferred to evade too much use of virtual media and green scenes, which gave most of the movie a phony vibe.
The characters who were represented as main characters earlier should have been given more screen space and time.
The technical and sound perfection should have also been reviewed carefully before releasing the movie. But they weren’t, and so people faced dissatisfaction.
Many flaws had to be rectified before broadcasting the film. Guess the Russian and China combo in the movie field didn’t work out well the very first time. A bit more supervision and attention should have been given to other things like the dubbing part and CGI. The movie could have been one nice action-adventure film.
So in this article, we covered up everything about the movie, The mystery of the Dragon Seal. It is a nice movie, but it could have been much better. So we did unveil the mystery of the dragon seal finally. I hope you rejoiced reading the article.