Jade (2024) Movie Review – Excellent action scenes elevate this weakly scripted thriller

Excellent action scenes elevate this weakly scripted thriller

Shaina West (Black Widow, The Woman King) stars in this pulpy action thriller as Jade, a young woman who fled with her brother from London to America after her parents were murdered when she was a teenager. 

This backstory is played out in the opening few minutes with a series of images that look like something from a graphic novel. During this sequence, there is a mention of Jade killing her brother – a plot point that doesn’t have a satisfying explanation – but we learn it has something to do with the two of them falling in league with a shady gang after crossing the pond.

As the movie progresses, Jade meets a guy named Logan (Mathew Yanagiya) who hands her a hard drive that is wanted by Interpol and a criminal organization run by a creep named Tork (Mickey Rourke). We never get to find out what’s on the drive but this hardly matters, as it mainly serves as a MacGuffin to set in motion the violent events that follow Jade’s acquisition of the item.

As such, you don’t need to care much about the plot of this low-budget crime flick as it’s the showstopping action scenes, in which Jade takes out her foes with both a gun and a blade, which are the biggest draw. 

West tears up the screen like an Afro-headed heroine from one of those Blaxploitation action flicks from the 70s, such as Cleopatra Jones and Foxy Brown. Whether she’s kicking, shooting, or stabbing big burly men with her pointed blade (and her Afro comb), she’s very convincing as a bad-ass protagonist.

West is more than just an able fighter as she is just as skilled at delivering witty quips to the bad guys as she is at ripping them apart. Unfortunately, the other actors in director James Bamford’s (Air Force One Down) movie don’t fare nearly as well as she does. Mickey Rourke sleepwalks his way through his role as a brutish crime boss and a lot of the supporting actors evidence their lack of acting ability with performances that can best be described as amateurish.

The script, which was co-written by Bamford, is very weak too, with eye-rollingly bad dialogue and a lack of clarity about who’s who and what’s what within the jumbled story. You can be forgiven for feeling confused while watching the movie as not a lot of it makes sense. There are crooked cops, two rival gangs with unclear motives, and a protagonist who apparently gave up using guns after shooting her brother but decides to use them anyway.

It’s all a bit of a muddle but you’ll forget about the baffling plotline when the action kicks in. These scenes are backed up by a pretty decent music score that ramps up the adrenaline when Jade goes to town on the goons. In one particularly inventive scene, the word FATALITY flashes on the screen when Jade pulls off another kill – a reference to the famously gory Mortal Kombat games – and a kill count also pops up during one extended sequence in which Jade takes out a neverending stream of baddies. 

There is a lot to like about Jade, with its rocking soundtrack and equally rocking action scenes. But despite these positives and the occasional moments of visual invention, the movie is let down by the painfully bad dialogue and incoherent narrative. Still, if all you’re looking for are a few Friday night thrills, then you might get some entertainment from the movie. Shaina West does a lot of the heavy lifting (sometimes literally) and shows her worth as an action star in the making.

Jade is available now on digital inc. Amazon, iTunes, Sky and Google Play.


Read More: Jade – Ending Explained 

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  • Verdict - 5.5/10