Jaycee Chan as Charcoal Head
Donnie Yen as Crouching Dragon, Hidden Dragon
Charlene Choi as Spring/13th Master
Gillian Chung as Blue Bird
Bolin Chen as Blockhead
Short Story Summary: A boy must seek an ancient blade to over throw an evil queen.
Plot:(8/10) While this is a very strange Fantasy/ Martial arts/ Wukia film, I have to give it credit for coming up with, to me is, a very interesting tale. It’s true that nothing really new happens in this film. The tried and true story elements are all there, you could say that all make an appearance in this movie. You have the traditional evil antagonist who wishes to bend the will of those around. You have the pure of heart Protagonist who must bring an end to the villain’s evil plans. You also have the standard assortment of allies and lackeys. It is also, as you may have noticed, the traditional “Good guy must go stop bad guy from doing evil deed”. Now while this has been done many times before, the movies saving grace is its way it used these elements to tale a weird, but interesting, story. The film gets to the action quick. It does drag in places, but the use of brilliant comedic elements keeps this from happening too often. The world that the story creates is an awesome, almost cartoonish, place. Where some films are killed by being set in this kind of world (see Buddha’s Palm), it just works in this case. A world were women are the superior gender and have taken complete control of the country is very interesting plot element and one that I don’t believe I have ever seen in a martial arts film before. I know there are films were there is a queen in charge or something to that extent, but never on where the queen has cast down the men to second class citizens. It is pretty close to one of those “Last man/woman on earth” sort of films. I don’t normally like this sort of film, because I like for everyone to be on equal footing, but this was very well done.
Characters/Cast: (7.5/10) The cast was overall pretty good. I didn’t really like Jaycee Chan that much. He was okay, but there was something about him that I just did not like. I guess it was acting, which to me, was very poor. I also found him to not be that likeable and he was kind of annoying most of the time. Maybe he was trying too hard being this was his first film, but bad acting is bad acting. This was the first film I ever saw him in and I guess I will give him another chance to see what he can do (even his dad has been in his fair share of bad roles). Donnie Yen is as great as ever. Even though he does not have much screen time, when he is on he steals the show. The two girls, Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung, are both great( Charlene Choi being my favorite, due to her hilarious performance), and it was nice to see Jackie as the Lord of Amour. The evil Queen (played by Qu Ying) was okay, but she kind of bland. Her plans and the reason for being the way she was, was interesting, but her acting was lacking.
Action: (6.5/10) Everyone say it with me: TOO MANY WIRES! Don’t get me wrong, the fight where actually really nice to look at and fun to watch, but the poorly done use of wires almost completely killed it. I fit weren’t for the beautiful, dance –like, fight choreography, this score would be closer to a 1.The other saving grace is the fight between Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan. While the fight is short and abused by slow-mo and wires, it's still fun to finally see these two duke it out. There are not that many fights and the end fight I found badly disappointing, but for some reason I found the fights in this film to be almost magical. They also kind of over used the slow-mo, but it was not that badly done, I guess. I normally hate the style they used, but damn if they didn’t make it look really good this time(to me anyways)
Music: (0/10) Can’t remember any at all really, so it could not have been that good.
Visuals: (10/10) The filmmakers created a very beautiful world to set their film in. It has a very bright and cheerful look to it, and you could say it almost looks like a cartoon or comic. The visuals have almost a Technicolor look to them and the costumes are really well made. The world, you could say, has almost a dream like feel to it and it was one that I didn’t really want to wake from when the credits started to role. I got to give those guys and gals a hand. This was one of the best worlds I have seen in a while.
Conclusion: With an interesting, if slightly clichéd, story and awesome visuals, Blade of Kings is a fun flm to watch. I highly recommend checking it out.