Anchor Bay Entertainment
I don’t know a hell of a lot about Asian action stars, but do know Donnie Yen is the real deal. Parlaying his martial arts skills into a successful film career, not only is Yan amazing to watch in action, he’s a pretty decent actor too. Both are on display in abundance in 14 Blades.
Yen plays Qinglong, leader of the Jinywei, the emperor’s legion of killers during the Ming Dynasty. The Jinywei are trained from childhood to maintain peace, carry-out assassinations and do whatever it takes to protect the empire. During a mission to retrieve a sacred box containing evidence of a plot to overthrow the emperor, even though Qinglong is fiercely loyal, he is betrayed by those around him and becomes a fugitive. He’s forced to hire the aid of a group called the Justice Escort Agency and becomes somewhat smitten by its leader’s daughter, Qiao (Zhao Wei). Eventually recruiting the help of a group of desert bandits, the Heaven Eagles Gang, Qinglong attempts to complete his mission and destroy those attempting to take control of the throne.
|This scene reminds me of my wedding night.|
Still, even though some action scenes rely way too heavily on anti-gravity balcony jumping and other physically-impossible stunts, 14 Blades is entertaining enough to please undiscriminating action fans looking for a fun way to kill a few hours.
(OUT OF 5)