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Empire of Assassins is not actually a "movie" at all, but an abridged
version of a Chinese TV series. Many people here have commented on the
poor production values, but I think they are selling the series short.
The production values are actually quite high for television, and aside
from the fact that it's shot on (rather good looking) digital video
instead of film, the costumes, editing, cinematography, fights, etc...
are all easily par with an average 1990's style Hong Kong Wuxia movie.
I've seen a few of these adapted TV series before, and this one looks
better than most, honestly. The dubbing seems "off" because even in
China, these series are often shot without sound, and all dialogue and
sound effects are added later.However, all of that can't save the plot from being fragmented and
oversimplified, since it's been cut down from an original that would
have been many, many hours longer. It helps to know what you're dealing
with... this is NOT a lavish cinematic affair like CROUCHING TIGER or
HERO. This is a condensed version of a cheap little TV action drama...
and in that sense it not so bad if you're looking for a little bit of
that retro wire-fu action. Think of it as Saturday morning cartoons,
with more blood and exotic weapons. :)
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