Tuesday, October 12, 2010

劍雨 - Reign Of Assassins

劍雨 (Reign Of Assassins) is a 2010 film. The film is a joint production of companies from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The film stars Michelle Yeoh and Jung Woo-sung. The supporting cast include Wang Xueqi, Barbie Hsu, Shawn Yue, Leon Dai, Kelly Lin, and Pace Wu. The movie is directed by Su Chao-pin. Parts of the movie were co-directed by John Woo.

The Cast
Michelle Yeoh as Zeng Ching
Jung Woo-sung as Jiang Ah-sheng
Wang Xueqi as The Wheel King
Barbie Hsu as Zhan Qiang
Shawn Yue as Lei Bin
Leon Dai as The Magician
Pace Wu as Kongdong Blue Sword
Kelly Lin as Drizzle
Chin Shih-Chieh as Doctor Li
Calvin Li as Wisdom
Angeles Woo - Eater Bear (John Woo's Daughter)
Jiang Yiyan - Lei Bin's Wife

The Story
A monk from India masters the highest level of martial arts. His remains are cut in half and a prized possession. If you have his body, you can also learn the highest forms of martial arts. Because of this, theres a scramble to get it whenever a rumor is confirmed. The Dark Stone gang is a group of assassins that blackmail people with power. When the upper half the monk's body appears, they go after it. In the heat of the battle, Drizzle of the Dark Stone gang takes off with the remains and disappears. Drizzle meets up with a soon to be monk in Wisdom. Wisdom tries to calm the evil in Drizzle and shows her flaws in her technique. However, Drizzle falls for Wisdom and kills him. Devastated, Drizzle gets a face lift and is now Zeng Ching, a fabrics merchant. Zeng eventually marries again to a absent minded foot guy named Ah Sheng. However, peace doesn't last long as the Zeng is found and forced to deal with the past she wants to leave behind.

My Thoughts
This was a amazing wuxia swordplay film. It contained all the elements that I crave. A mystery, martial arts that impress. A strong cast of characters to flank the main characters. Character development is exposed in fragments for the bit players, but mainly reserved for the main stars.

The movie featured plenty of characters. According to Michelle Yeoh's website film page, there could have been more characters, but it does not seem like there was enough time to explore them all. Here's to hoping that this develops into a wuxia drama in the future.

Pace Wu makes only a very brief appearance but her beauty stole the show during that time. Pace also ditches the makeup, but still looked amazing.

I was a little afraid that it couldn't live up to the hype, but it was a great film. I do have problems with the casting, but that can't be helped if you follow the $$.

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