Jade - British fighter Shaina West stuns in this brutal actioner ......

1995 saw the erotic thriller ‘Jade’ released. Scripted by Joe Ezterhaus after the huge success of Basic Instinct it had all the sex appeal of Boris Johnson in his Y-fronts and had audiences looking around with the sort of awkward embarrassed silence not seen since Prince Andrew offered to babysit. This 2024 Jade is a very different matter altogether and it’s a quite brilliant showcase for the skills of British martial arts and samurai wielding expert Shaina West who pays the title role.

With an animated title sequence that explains why Jade mourns the death of her brother we’re pretty much straight into the action after Jade agrees to hide a hard drive for a friend who by the rules of the genre isn’t going to survive much beyond the next scene. It’s not long before she is taken hostage herself by the usual array of man mountain knuckleheads frowning yet vacant eyed like Brooklyn Beckham having been ]asked what he does for a job. This army of heavies are all part of the big boss Tork’s empire. Tork is played by Mickey Rourke in another phoned in role that serves to further distance any memory of his Oscar nominated turn in 2009’s ‘The Wrestler’ and his face apparently the subject of much plastic surgery and appearing to have wholly ignored the surgeons advice not to stand near to an open fire. But Jade is a tough cookie and escapes and then proceeds to batter a succession of tough guys who she despatches with aplomb most notably in a sustained corrider sequence with her armed with a samurai sword and a hand gun.

With ex-stuntman Chad Stahelski having led the way in recent years of the stuntman turned director here it is James Bamford who work has worked on Watchmen, Rampage, X-Men The Last Stand amongst very many others. As a director his work here is influenced by both Stahelski and also Guy Ritchie and that’s not a bad thing in what is a breezy brutal ballistic body ballet which sees the bodies pile high helped by a cameo from the legendary Mark Dacascos. But it’s Shiana West who impresses here. Only 24 years old and of slight build and with the best on screen afro since blaxploitation classic Cleopatra Jones she is a whirling dervish of death when it comes to despatching the bad guys and her skills are hugely impressive and marks her out for stardom in the genre.

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We had an hugely entertaining chat with Shaina West about the making of the film…

Here’s the Jade trailer…..


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