Movie Details

14 BLADES

During the Ming Dynasty, the Emperor of China possessed one weapon greater than all others, the Imperial Guards, an elite force of assassins recruited from street orphans. Trained in clandestine combat from childhood, the Imperial Guards were masters of the 14 Blades, eight being for torture, five for killing and the last blade reserved for suicide when a mission failed. Above the law, with a license to kill, the Imperial Guards devoted their lives to the service of the Emperor alone. When the Imperial Court is taken over by evil eunuch Jia, the best of the Imperial Guards, Qinglong (Yen) and Xuanwu, are assigned to steal a list identifying those still loyal to the Emperor. However unbeknownst to Qinglong, the Imperial Guards have fallen under the control of Jia, and during the mission Qinglong is betrayed by Xuanwu. Now as the most wanted man in the land, Qinglong must seek out and rally the loyalists to rise against Jia and restore the Emperor to power.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 4 Feb 2010
Genre: Action / Adventure / War
Running Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
Distributor: Golden Village Pictures
Cast: Donnie Yen, Vicki Zhao Wei, Wu Chun, Kate Tsui, Qi Yuwu
Director: Daniel Lee
Format: 35MM

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Review
Writer: Tammy Ang

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Watch this if you liked: "Bodyguards And Assassins", "Treasure Hunter"

If you haven't had enough of Donnie Yen in "Bodyguards And Assassins", he is back with another martial arts movie - "14 Blades". With his involvement, the movie will never be lacking in kungfu awe. Some of his trademark hand-to-hand combat are featured here, together with traces of traditional wuxia moves. The "spinning coin" fight scene between Donnie and Wu Chun is a highlight, as no stunt doubles were apparently involved. Even Kate Tsui has plenty of work to do as the ultimate opponent for Donnie in the flick. As most of Donnie Yen's co-stars are not trained exponents, expect to see some fast editing techniques and close up camerawork to make up for the realism.

This movie also has a bit of romance. You will be seeing the gentler side of Donnie Yen, as he claims that this is the first time he is actually "in love" for a movie. The relationship with Zhao Wei slowly blooms throughout some lighthearted scenes. Look out for scenes by the river, the bath house, and also the Zhao Wei rescue scene from Kate Tsui.

Back on the action, we'll tell you about the notable weaponry used. They are specially designed by no other than the director himself, Daniel Lee. A special agent like James Bond has his secret gadgets, so does Donnie Yen in this movie! It is a special box containing 14 blades. Wu Chun's sword is sickle-shaped and can be transformed to a boomerang-looking double bladed sword. Also, Kate Tsui's quick whip has some serpentine qualities, and it can also be turned into a sword that readily plunges right through human skin.

For Wu Chun fans out there, the Mandarin version (available at select cinemas and territories) will feature his real voice instead of Cantonese dubbing. Do look out for the scenes where he shouts: "Here comes the Sky Eagle", as it is funny, what with his not-so-accurate pronunciation, as noted by critics. Instead of the usual prince charming roles, Wu Chun is here transformed into The Judge, leader of the desert bandits, with an appearance curiously similar to Jack Sparrows from the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" movies. His acting has surprisingly improved, compared to his previous "Butterfly Lovers". Be impressed with the stunts as he fought much harder in this one, outdoing his amateurish earlier movie by leaps and bounds.

In a decidedly well-marketed, female-skewed offering, the men in "14 Blades" are much sexier compared to the ladies. You will get too see yet another shot at Donnie Yen's tattooed chest at the beginning and also a memorable scene in the bath house. If this is not enough, Wu Chun also exhibits his hot, tanned and countable block of abs to the delight of his female fans.

Perhaps the only complaints you will hear about "14 Blades" are the wide-angle CGI scenes of the exotic city which turned out rather unrealistic. Other than that, "14 Blades" sits comfortably among other Chinese New Year releases as a very decent watch.



Cinema Online, 10 February 2010
   
Showtimes
 
Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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