14 Blades (2010)

Set during the Ming Dynasty, the Emperor creates a secure group of bodyguards called the “Jinyiwei”, the group is led by Qinglong (Donnie Yen) bestowed upon him is the deadly 14 Blades, 8 of the blades are used for interrogation and the remaining 4 are used for execution.

When the Imperial Court is seized by the evil eunuch Jia, Qinglong is assigned to steal a list identifying those still loyal to the Emperor. But unknown to him, the Jinyiwei themselves have double crossed Qinglong for Jia, who, in league with an exiled noble, Prince Qing (Sammo Hung), is plotting to rebel against the Emperor and seize power.

During his mission to obtain the list, Qinglong is betrayed by his own men and barely escapes with his life. Now, a wanted man, he must seek out and rally the loyalists to rise against Jia and restore the Emperor to power. But standing before him are the deadliest assassins in the land – his former brothers-in-arms, the Jinyiwei.

Daniel Lee helms this wuxia period action vehicle which proves to be easily entertaining piece of work. Lees recent work didn’t give me much faith going into the movie, but the “Badassery” of Donnie Yen easily makes you a fan.  Donnie looks awesome with his characters mixture of Highlander and Blade rolled into one, yes I know Donnie has appeared in both movie franchises. His back story does deliver a good depth to the story and his surround cast members.

Vicki Zhao appears at the leading lady, on screen daughter of Wu Ma, Yen kidnaps her as collateral for a deal set between him and Wu Ma. Surprisingly no romantic relations grow between the two.

Sammo Hung appears briefly in the beginning and the end of the movie, the man barely moves a muscle, could have easily gotten away with sending in a glossy cardboard cut out to earn his pay cheque that week. Also amongst Wu Mas group is Fung Hak On! Fung acts merely as an extra in the movie, but it’s nice to see familiar faces.

Chun Wu leads a group of merchants known as the Sky Eagles, Chun playing the role of “The Judge of the Desert”, A friend/foe of Yens character and the two do take part in some decent wire-assisted action! The noble character does come across quite likeable instead of being the usual cocky sonofa’

Our leading villain is “I Corrupt All Cops” actress Kate Tsui, she does quiet well, although the action sequences turn corny when her CGI whip comes into play.

The fun parts of the movie is the great box of tricks Donnie Yen carries around, this case obtains all those blades, cogs, wires and darts. It’s a great little Inspector Gadget idea with its simple look but multifunctional use. All I could say now is that, I want one!

The movie is an entertaining two hour piece, having not seen either Dragon Squad or Three Kingdoms I cant declare this movie being the strongest piece, but I would like to think that it is. Enjoy!

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