Watched 14 Blades
yesterday night! Usually I don't like to do extended movie reviews beyond the it's good, he's cute, the movie's so meaningful and stuffs like that, because I don't really like to use my brain to dissect and analyse a movie.
But 14 Blades is so good that I just feel like doing it.
And 14 Blades is good. It's not great because it really isn't, but it's one of those movies you should not have any expectations and just enjoy the ride. A simple formula of a reluctant hero thrust into a dangerous situation and having to go on a journey to find something, whether tangible or symbolic, and along the way find a romantic interest and make some new friends.
It reminds me of those 江湖 movies I loved watching as a kid, centering itself on pure action and human emotions that you won't think to look too closely at the plot which is simply a mechanism running in the background to get the whole show on the road. And the soundtrack is so hauntingly beautiful, contributing to a great atmosphere in the movie.
Now for the character reviews, totally in order of preference.
As usual Donnie Yen brought it, action wise, acting wise. There is something about these old school Hong Kong movie actors. They are extremely believable as the character they portray. Not for a moment did I feel like he is anything but a tortured renegade warrior from the Ming Dynasty. I am also glad that he stop doing that I-am-fierce(!!!) expression with clenched teeth and bulging eyes. It is a really weird expression; cool guy like him should not have strange idiosyncrasies like that. And personally I feel that he really lucked out getting the best costume among the men in the movie. Sort of like a cross between Van Helsing and Scorpion King.
It takes a real man to pull off long, curly hair and a coat dress. *manly grunt*
I have to admit. I am disappointed with Qi Yuwu's character. I like him. I even have a MMORPG game char named after him. And despite being really impressed by his acting in the past, he just did not do much for me in this movie. Of his limited screen time in the movie, half of it was spent alternating between intense angry stare and psychotic crazy stare, like he could not decide if he wanted the character to be a bad-ass or a maniac, and the other half was spend looking bug-eyed as if he was extremely overwhelmed and I-don't-know-what-the-fark-I'm-doing-here. I guess acting in local dramas with 70% rubbish actors and in a movie with a considerably more renowned cast does make a difference.
Ahhh, Jack Sparrow. Yes, it's what everyone is thinking. It was even in the papers. But why? Why??!!?? I don't get it! Why Jack Sparrow? And if you are gonna do it, THEN DO IT PROPERLY! Where is the eyeliner man? Honestly, I don't know what to make of Wu Zun's character. It's so damn comic. Every time he leaps out of no where and shouts "天鹰班杀到!!!" I want to chio my arse off. But that's good, no? Laughing is being entertained and I am totally entertained by him when I watch the movie. Right? I don't know. I am undecided. But he does look good though. Nice touch on saving 20 cents off his costume by cutting off the cloth to show off his abs there, Costume Department. But you are forgetting one thing. Beside Donnie Yen, Wu Zun looks like a scrawny chicken, no? This is something no amount of suave dubloon tossing will make up for, you know. Sigh, poor Wu Zun, I really think he got shortchanged here; even Sammo Hung's few minutes on screen conveys so much more emotion and depth. Wu Zun is really not too bad in the movie, but somehow, he just came off looking funny.
Tuo Tuo~~~ Pretty girl, pretty costume. Not so convincing as a scary killing machine but her facial expressions as an evil bitch villian is pretty ok... Urm... FINE! I ADMIT! I did not pay much attention to her because I was busy ogling at the men! -_- But I do mean what I said. I like her, and if she had more scenes doing more meaningful stuffs like maybe falling in love with Qinglong or even Asian Jack Sparrow, I will like her even more.That Woman
Fine! I will admit! I don't hate her
in the movie. Apart from cringing at the scenes where she gets too close to Donnie Yen, she is rather tolerable and not irritating. And I very much enjoy the fact that there doesn't seem to be much romantic chemistry between them. *pumps fist yeah!* Which is actually apt for the movie, because he is supposed to be this cold-blooded killer of sorts, who finds himself developing a mild *MILD
* interest in this girl who seems to believe in things that he has stopped believing in.
OMFG! I am actually done! Had no idea that this post will get this long. My bad. But before I end off, here's another look at the wonder that is 甄子丹.
SAY HE IS GOD AGAIN! *whiplash*
And here's Wu Zun, because the movie did not do him due justice:
"I am NOT scrawny chicken, you ugly bitch! I just have smaller pecs and a tinier waist! I am still sexiness infinity!"
PS: Yeah! Totally managing to reuse all the images from the earlier post about the movie. Recycling is awesome!