This is a movie set in the late Ming Dynasty. The 3 main characters are all elite guards for the palace. One of their fellow guardsmen goes bad. His former companions must now forget their ...
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This is a movie set in the late Ming Dynasty. The 3 main characters are all elite guards for the palace. One of their fellow guardsmen goes bad. His former companions must now forget their bond and apprehend him. But are they being lured into a larger conspiracy against their emperor?Written by
Brotherhood of Blades is a very entertaining wu xia movie. It combines dynamic martial arts and sword fights with historical costumes and settings and a dramatic dose of suspense in form of complex conspiracies. The greatest thing about the movie is that its outcome is quite unpredictable. Until the final fifteen minutes, it's not exactly clear who is friend and who is foe. This is a welcome change to Hollywood films featuring a lone wolf protagonist who fights his corrupted superiors. Until the final scene, it remains a mystery who is going to survive or not. Once again, this is a great change from Hollywood movies featuring a protagonist who is going to survive against all odds. This film will keep you on the edge of your seat until its dramatic resolution.
The story revolves around three Imperial Assassins who are charged to eliminate powerful eunuch Wei who has become a nuisance for the young Ming dynasty emperor. However, the leader of the trio decides to spare the eunuch and accepts a bribe instead without telling his colleagues. Back in the capital, the three sworn brothers are both tracked down by the eunuch's numerous followers who want them to take their secret to the grave and by suspicious government officials who realizes something is afoul. As if that weren't enough, they have to face numerous personal challenges. The youngest of the trio has fallen in love with the local pharmacist's daughter, the second assassin wants to buy the freedom of a prostitute who despises him for having participated in killing her family and the oldest assassin is tricked into getting promoted to be under constant surveillance. The trio decides it must flee the capital city in order to save their lives but their enemies give everything to try to prevent their escape.
Aside the fascinating story, the movie convinces with a gloomy and tense atmosphere that brings the dying Ming dynasty back to life. The emotional acting performances are very solid and show three overall sympathetic protagonists with strong moral compasses but quite a few personal weaknesses as well which makes them dynamic and round characters. The fight choreographies are intense and not as exaggerated as one is used to from numerous other wu xia movies. This approach suits the film's more authentic tone.
Brotherhood of Blades might not reinvent the genre but is one of the very best movies of its kind in recent memory. Especially the plot is truly intriguing while the film's atmosphere, settings, acting and choreographies are other positive elements. The movie became such an unexpected success that it spun off a prequel released three years later. If you like Asian cinema, you can't go wrong with Brotherhood of Blades.
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