As usual, two of the most dependable martial arts action stars do not disappoint. The newest DVD release of Anchor Bay Entertainment’s The Lost Bladesman starring Donnie Yen and Reign of Assassins with the lovely Michelle Yeoh are both hypnotizing and chalked full of heart pounding action.
The Lost Bladesman
The Lost Bladesman takes place during tumultuous times when the three kingdoms of ancient China were drowning in warfare. It’s a daring and gripping story peppered with heroic battles. In a struggle for power, only one can obtain it. The strength of one man’s blade would decide it all then deliver him into an unyielding fate.
Even though his character is an unstoppable force, Donnie’s humbling approach to Guan Yuanchan (Guan Yuan) truly defined “a wolf with the soul of a lamb.” He is masterful with the blade. Though not without compassion as only his enemies experience its fatal wrath. Like many other heroes, Guan Yuan heart is burdened with saving others. It’s essentially him against the world as he tries to save the love of his life from the powerful General Cao Cao. Wen Jiang was awarded Best Actor from the Shanghai Film Critics for his role as General Cao Cao. He portrayed the brilliant general with the precision of a master chess player. Cao Cao and his puppet emperor conspired against Guan Yuan forcing him to fight for his beliefs. The Lost Bladesman rightfully earned the praises of Best Film from The Macau International Movie Festival with this touching recount of one of China’s most revered novels.
Reign of Assassins
Michelle Yeoh is “girl crush” material in Reign of Assassins, taking the lead as a deadly assassin transporting the divined remains of a martial arts master for safe keeping. She stands her ground against an equally lethal bunch that wishes to take the remains for themselves. While hiding out, she discovers her heart again with Jiang, played by South Korean Hallyu star Jung Woosung. Unbeknownst to her, her new love is hiding a fatal secret of his own. All hell breaks loose when her pursuers finally catch up to her and secrets began to reveal themselves. Revenge is the best catalyst for bloodshed and it rains down on them both when they finally face the other assassins, and one another.
Michelle is always a pleasure to watch. She’s graceful and natural in the action choreography. It never feels forced, which lends to the authenticity of her abilities. Coupling her with Woosung was brilliant. He is so transformative and dominant without being overbearing. They were magnificent together easily alternating between lovers and unyielding enemies. More impressively, Reign of Assassins perfectly blends exhilarating action with just enough passion to spark a flame.
Both films are also available On Demand. Check your local cable network for availability.