If John Woo is attached to a film, you can bet it’s going to be an interesting ride. The man knows just what action fans want, and he knows how to deliver it. I’ve seen many of his films over the years, and I have yet to be disappointed.
Such is the case with REIGN OF ASSASSINS, a recent release from Anchor Bay. Woo was the producer for this film, but that doesn’t make it any less epic. Crammed full of intrigue and insane martial arts battles, REIGN OF ASSASSINS is an action feast that will fill even the hungriest of fans!
If you are not familiar with REIGN OF ASSASSINS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment:
Produced by John Woo and Terence Chang, this epic martial arts action thriller promises to be FACE/OFF meets MR. AND MRS. SMITH. Set in ancient China, the film stars Michelle Yeoh as a skilled assassin who is on a mission to return the remains of a mystical Buddhist monk to their resting place. The remains are believed to hold a powerful secret. Along the way, she falls in love with a man named Jiang, whose father was killed by her gang. Unaware that he also is a trained martial artist, their love blossoms but tensions arise as the truth of her past unravels. Soon, a lethal triangle surfaces between her, Jiang and the team of assassins that are after the monk’s remains.
REIGN OF ASSASSINS is shot well and appears to have a decent production budget. The sets depicting ancient China look great, as do the costumes and accent pieces.
The acting is very good, with Michelle Yeoh heading up a talented cast. Yeoh is always a joy to see onscreen, and I’ve been a fan of hers for quite a while. She is joined by Woo-sung Jung, who plays her husband, Jiang; Xueqi Wang, who shines as the devilish Cao Feng (The Wheel King); Barbie Hsu, as fellow assassin Turquoise; and Shawn Yue, who plays Lei Bin. The whole cast meshes well, and their martial arts skills are just as enjoyable as their acting performances.
And speaking of martial arts, there are plenty of battle scenes in REIGN OF ASSASSINS. The fighting is fast and furious, and the atmosphere abounds with the crunching of bones and the cracking of skulls. My sole complaint about the action is that some of the wire-work looks a little too obvious. This is forgivable, though, as it does not take the viewer out of the scenes, thankfully.
REIGN OF ASSASSINS is a big win for me, and fans of martial arts flicks should love it. I was thoroughly entertained with this one, and I’ll bet you will be, too. It is available now in a variety of formats.