Reign of Assassins 剑雨

27 Dec

Critics have lauded it as the best wuxia (period martial arts/swordfighing) movie since ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’ but it was duly trumped at the box office by ‘Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame’.

In terms of scale of production or depth of the story/characters, I feel that RoA comes short of CTHD but it is definitely one of the finer offerings from the genre in recent years and it’s a shame it hasn’t gotten as much attention as the other blockbusters of Chinese cinema. Wuxia movies since CTHD have gone for style over substance, spending good chunks of their budgets on fancy costumes, grand sets and elaborate/long-drawn fight scenes. I like watching pretty people in pretty sets on screen, but all that grandeur isn’t going to help if there isn’t a good story holding it up. After being disappointed by one too many wuxia movies , it’s no wonder Chinese movie goers are wary of spending their money on yet another dud.

RoA reminds me of the good old wuxia novels of Louis Cha and Gu Long – stuff that accompanied me through my teenage years – perhaps a little old fashion but ever so comforting. The story is tight and the fight scenes well choreographed … RoA is best enjoyed without knowing too much about the story so that’s all I’m saying for now. It’s been a really long time since I was genuinely surprised by a plot twist!

Support it in theatres if possible but if it’s no longer screening where you are … youtube is here to help!

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