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The Assassins (2012)
"Tong que tai" (original title)

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Set in the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, the story focuses on Cao Cao in his old age, exploring the areas of military tactics, love, and the relationship between father and son.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Gong Ling Ju
...
Mu Shun
Alec Su ...
Emperor Xian
Roy Cheung
Dahong Ni
Yuan Nie
Ni Yan
Lu Yao
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Storyline

Set in the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, the story focuses on Cao Cao in his old age, exploring the areas of military tactics, love, and the relationship between father and son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama | History

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Details

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Release Date:

26 September 2012 (China)  »

Also Known As:

The Assassins  »

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2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Bronze Sparrow Terrace was built by Cao Cao as a banquet hall where musicians and dancers would entertain his guests. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Killed by the boredom in period drama
6 October 2012 | by (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) – See all my reviews

I'M a big proponent of non-violence in movies and am critical of movies such as The Expendables 2, Taken 2, The Raid and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.

However, after watching the painfully dry and laborious Chinese period piece The Assassins, I may have to reconsider my views. It's weighed down by its own importance and can't get out of a maze of drudgery.

Even the presence of Chow Yun Fat, the Gerard Depardieu of Chinese movies, isn't enough to save the movie.

Chow instils charm, charisma and integrity in his emperor-like roles, so he can play a ruthless leader who exudes compassion for his lover in his sleep.

Director Zhao Linshan's The Assassins is a drama about royal court intrigue, fighting for power and a woman torn between two lovers. Yet viewers won't be able to relate to most of the characters, and even the confusion experienced by the woman in question is inexplicable. It's as if she was forced into that position.

Cao Cao (right) tells the killer concubine that they can pin the blame on the many subplots in the film. Chow is chancellor Cao Cao, who rises to the No. 2 position in the Han Dynasty by virtue of his ruthlessness in wars. The numero uno is effeminate Emperor Xian (Alec Su), who sings songs of male lovers.

The emperor's sycophants see Cao Cao as a threat to them wanting to keep the former in power, so they devise many ways to assassinate the latter. One way is by snatching kids whose parents were killed in wars by Cao Cao.

As teens, Lingju (Liu Yifei) and Mu Shun (Tamaki Hiroshi) are forced to attend a camp that trains them to be assassins. Mu Shun is castrated so he can join the emperor's group of eunuchs, while his lover Lingju becomes Cao Cao's concubine to get close to him and to kill him.

Cao Cao, meanwhile, must contend with hordes of assassination attempts against him, including that of his concubine's, but he wins her over with the milk of his human kindness. He's not as bad as he's portrayed to be. You can see why taking on this role isn't a stretch for Chow.

Mu Shun realises that his lover is falling for Cao Cao, and tells her that Cao Cao can provide many things for her that he can't. A man needs a lot of balls to say that to a lover.

www.jeffleemovies.com


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