Friday, November 19, 2010

REIGN OF ASSASSINS (2010, Su Chao-bin + John Woo, A+++++++++++++++)

REIGN OF ASSASSINS (2010, Su Chao-bin + John Woo, A+++++++++++++++)

Things I like very much in this film include:

1.In the early part of the film, the heroine kills a young boy for self-defence. Thus, the film does not conform to the rule "Children and dogs always survive", which seems to be a problem in most Hollywood films. I don't hate children or dogs, but this kind of rules limits the possibilities of the plot, story, or film. Conforming to this rule makes the film more boring, such as MIMIC (1997, Guillermo Del Toro), in which some audience can predict beforehand that the boy will survive. Destroying this rule makes the film much more memorable, such as THE MIST (Frank Darabont, A+++++++++++++++), and FALLING SKY (2002, Gunnar Vikene).

2.The fighting scene in this film is very exciting. I think it is as exciting as IP MAN 2 (2010, Wilson Yip, A+++++), but the main difference is that the fighting scenes in REIGN OF ASSASSINS are more fantasy-based, while the fighting scenes in IP MAN 2 are more reality-based. I usually prefer the fighting scenes which are fantasy-based, because I grew up worshipping the fighting scenes in SUKEBAN DEKA TV series.

3.A character in this film uses poisoned needles as his weapon. Poisoned needles are one of my most favorite weapons, but they are rarely used effectively in recent action films. I think REIGN OF ASSASSINS is the only film I know which uses poisoned needles in fighting effectively. As for TV series, the one which uses poisoned needles effectively is THE RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES (1983-1984). The character who uses it is Lee Mok-sau, which is one of my most favorite characters of all time.

4.The opening part of REIGN OF ASSASSINS shocks me as much as the opening part of SCREAM, because characters whom I assume would be main characters are murdered within a few minutes. In the opening part of REIGN OF ASSASSINS, there are a male assassin character and a female assassin character who look very interesting, but they are murdered by the heroine instantly.

5.I love the personalities of the female characters in this film very much, including the heroine; the female assassin who is murdered in the opening part; Turquoise (the new assassin who tries to replace the heroine); and Kongdong Blue Sword. All of them look very graceful.

6.The male characters in this film are very desirable, including Jung Woo-sung, Shawn Yue, and Li Zong Han (Calvin Li).

7.I love films of which supporting characters are very strong, such as the X-Men series. REIGN OF ASSASSINS has many strong supporting characters, especially The Magician and Wisdom (the Buddhist Monk).

8.The lack of humor in this film conforms to my taste. Generally I prefer serious action films such as SWORDSMAN, SWORDSMAN II, and REIGN OF ASSASSINS, to action-comedy films.

9.I usually like films/TV series of which the heroines are very good in fighting, such as KICK-ASS (2010, Matthew Vaughn), SWORDSMAN II, SUKEBAN DEKA, GOLDEN SWALLOW, PAINTED SKIN, and THE HEROIC TRIO.

10.I think the role of Michelle Yeoh in REIGN OF ASSASSINS is one of her best roles. It is as good as her role in THE HEROIC TRIO. I'm very much disappointed with Michelle's role in TRUE LEGEND (2010, Yuen Woo-ping, C+) and had assumed that Michelle's career might be finished. Fortunately, her role in REIGN OF ASSASSINS proves otherwise.

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