The Lost Bladesman
The Lost Bladesman is a 2011 Hong Kong film adapted from the story of Guan Yu crossing five passes and slaying six generals in Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It stars Donnie Yen as Guan, who also served as the film's action director.
There is an appreciation and hunger to learn a deeper insight into China's 'Three Kingdoms Era' (around 184 to 280 AD) for many people, including myself. With warlords such as Cao Cao, sorcerers such as Zhang Jue and informative yet incredible stories such as "The Yellow Turban Rebellion" and "The Battle of Red Cliffs" it is no wonder that I, like many others, am so grasped by this period of Chinese history.
There haven't been many films that cover this aspect in time since a few popular films around the 1930's. Now there seems to be some kind of resurgence, after having around eighty years without films set in the period, there have been around five expensively made, confidently directed…
Beautifully shot and featuring some innovative fight sequences, The Lost Bladesman's only real fault is its convoluted story. Still enjoyed it.
Donnie Yen teams up with the filmmakers behind the "Infernal Affairs" sequels for a Three Kingdoms-era picture that is not quite as epic as "Red Cliff" but proves to be an ass-kicking flick nonetheless. Donnie is listed as Action Director once again and the fight scenes bear his imprint all over them: impossibly wide angles cover the choreography as cinematically as possible, no matter how constrained the environment becomes. Donnie's battle against Andy On is a highlight of both performers' careers, and a scene where Donnie literally outruns slinging arrows seems a deliberate callback to the bravado opening sequence of "The Legend of the Fist: Return of Chen Zhen." But for all the fighting - and there is a lot of it - actor Jiang Wen steals the show with his multi-layered portrayal of Military Strategist Cao Cao, a character who is welcomely three-dimensional in contrast to Donnie's unwaveringly stoic General Guan.
Another historical epic featuring the character Guan Yu, this time played by the ubiquitous Donnie Yen. More a character piece than an action adventure, The Lost Bladesman focuses on the warrior’s relation with Qian Lan and how the PM uses her to gain Guan Yu’s loyalty. From director Alan Mak (Infernal Affairs) this is a little underwhelming – watchable, certainly, but lacks any real spark or emotional involvement that elevates it above the pack.
The Lost Bladesman is a chinese epic, an adaptation of Luo Guanzhong's novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Donnie Yen stars as Guan, the main character of the novel, as always Yen is also the action director. The setting was at the end of Han Dynasty ruling. Guan was a lieutenant general who served the ruling of Han dynasty under Cao Cao. He stayed at Cao Cao's territory while waiting for information regarding his brother Liu Bei. When Guan decided to leave the territory, Cao Cao's followers forbid him for fearing that Guan would eventually kill Cao Cao. The rest of the plot is of course kung fu fighting : )
The Lost Bladesman is a film that suffers from being in two halves, the first being boring and the second being decent. With that in mind there’s a question that I feel I need to ask myself, is sitting through the first half worth it to see the second? And to be honest even though the second has some moments of unequivocal awesome I would have to say no as the larger part of the action is nothing new, its tried and tested, which is nice to look at but never leaves you awestruck.