Starring : Michelle Yeoh, Joon Woo-sung
Diected by: Su Chao Pin
Co- Director : John Woo
Reign of Assassins
When a new film comes along from John Woo whether he's directing or producing it always seems to deliver .Reign of Assassins is no disappointment . It's a film that delivers in bucket loads . Even though intaily John Woo and Terance Chang where only producers of the production with Director Su Chao Pin at the helm , who also wrote the screen paly as well
In the end John Woo was given co-director credits as he was on set everyday advising Su Chao Pin along the way.
They have a ensemble cast of of actresses and actors from around the globe . In the lead is the one and only Michelle Yeoh in her full blown Martial arts epic for some years , even though she was in True Legend this is the first time since Crouching Tiger that she has had to get down and fight in a Wuxia film with wire work and all.
It's well known she was apprehensive at first ,but a performer with her talent needed not worry. Also in the film is Korean actor Joon Woo-Sung who portrays a courier in the film .
Now the film opens up with the telling of a story of Monk from India who came and found enlightenment and studied Kung Fu to a masterful level. The monk called Boddhi ( or Boddiharma as it's this they are referring to even though they have added story lines ) Any ways after Boddhi' s death which resulted in him being cut in two and divided and hid ,it is believed that if someone could reunite the two halfs of this Kung Fu master they could rule the Kung Fu world.
The film follows certain factions who want to find the remains of the monk. And one such faction are the Dark Stone a band of Assassins who will stop at nothing to get results. It's this which will in turn tear apart the Dark Stone and leave the remains divided for years to come.
The Dark Stone led by The Wheel King and along with his counterparts Lei Bin, The Magician and Drizzle find the whereabouts of the remains ( the Prime Minsters Home) and in the process of capturing the Prime Minister Zhang and his son Renfreng and slaying them end up losing the remains when Drizzle ( Kelly Lin) runs off with them ti stop the Wheel King from having them.
She meets the Monk Wisdom who she stays with and he shows her her flaws in her fighting technique ( the 42 sword strikes) In a bid to let her learn her fatal flaws he challenges her and in the end gives his life so she may be enlightened.
In remorse she decides to mend her ways and goes to a doctor to have her face changed. Some time later she is talikng to the senior monk and has moved to a new town ,changed her name to Zeng Jing ( Michelle Yeoh) and got a job as a seller of material. It's here that she meets Jiang Ah-sheng a single man who is a courier in the area ,who takes a liking to her .
After getting fed up with her landlady matchmaking for her she ends up asking Jiang if he will marry her. They get married and all is hunky dory. That is till one day when on a trip to the bank they get caught up in a Robbery ,and the robbers have used pressure techniques to incapacitate the customers and workers. But when the robbers can not get what they want they start killing the helpless people laying on the floor ,Jing knows she must react or all will die , in a battle with the bandits she dispatches many and blinds the leader and leaves with her husband before the Police arrive.
Bad thing is she has given away her secret of being a expert in Kung Fu and one her husband strangely does not seem to worry about. She knows in the back of her mind that she may have visitors but when and how no one knows.
Now the Dark Stone find out about this and The Wheel King recalls his patriots to join him to find the remains again along the way they recruit a new member of a young girl called Turquoise who was in prison due to be executed for murdering her husband .
Now the small town where Jing and Jiang live will become a battle field to stop the remains of Boddhi getting into the wrong hands. Once the Dark Stone arrive they know they have found Drizzle , Jing agrees to let them have the remains if they leave her and Jiang alone ,but the Wheel King wants her to help him get the second half as part of the deal ( she goes along with this) .
Now a rich business banker who is a cripple is know to have the second half and they lay siege to retrieve the remains.
Once all is in place they seem to have succeeded ,now The Magician rebels and tells the others to attack the Wheel King and join force so they may live their own lives .But Jing is not interested and begins to leave when she is confronted by Turquoise ,while the Magician fights the Wheel King ,Liu Bin decides to stay on the right side of the Wheel King and attacks the Magician and Jing while she fights Turquoise .
The turning point is when the Wheel King kills the Magician and confronts Jing in a duel and wounding her and she barely escapes with her life.
Making it back home Jiang takes care of her ,but when the Liu Bin and Turquoise arrive to kill Jing they are confronted by Jiang who in turn ends up being more of a foe then they had ever imagined .
When Jiang reveals his swords and begins to fight they realize the person fighting them is none other then the Prime Ministers Son Refreng.,he to has had his face changed in a bid to get revenge for his fathers death.. What’s more his relationship with Jing was all planned and he new who she was all along.
With Liu Bin getting wounded beyond recovery and Turquoise escaping with her life the final fight will be fought between The Wheel King and Renfreng .
Renfreng confronts the Wheel King who we find out is a Eunuch in the Royal court and wants the Remains to regrow his manhood. When Turquoise finds out about The Wheel Kings predicament she shuns him but he soon stops her in her tracks.
Who will get the remains? ,will Jing recover to fight the Wheel King and will Jiang forgive her for killing his father and nearly killing him?
Well there you go a wuxia film with intrigue and enough plot twists to keep you thinking ,the first thing about the film is how clear and vibrant it looks ,but still capturing a moody look to it. The sword scenes are well executed and fresh to view and even with quite a bit of wire work and special effects it comes together in a treat for your eyes .
Michelle Yeoh shows she still has the moves and Korean Actor Joon Woo Sung and Shawn Yue give great performances in the action stakes. The films pace is quite good to as at nearly two hours it keeps you thinking ,and after the initial opening which involves quite a bit of action there is a slow section of how Jing and Jiang get together ,but with lots of back story going on about the other factions it paces the film quite well .And once the action starts it does not let up till the final reel .
A triumphant Wuxia film which shows how no matter how harsh you live your life ,if you want to turn it around ,you only have to try.
Score out of Ten = 9
Review Date: 04-02-2011
Reviewer : Sertes Nake
Korean Poster with Joon Woo-sung at the forefront
Renfreng tries to protect his father
Renfreng fights a losing battle ,outnumbered and injured Now!
This guy is the best plastic surgeon ever,though insects help a lot.
|Directed by||Su Chao-Pin |
|Produced by||John Woo |
|Written by||Su Chao-Pin|
|Starring||Michelle Yeoh |
|Music by||Peter Kam|
|Editing by||Angie Lam|
|Release date(s)||September 28, 2010 (China) |
October 7, 2010 (Hong Kong)
October 10, 2010 (Taiwan) (2010-09-28) (2010-10-07) (2010-10-10)
|Running time||117 minutes|