Donnie Yen goes back to the Three Kingdoms period to play a man named Guan Yu. He teamed up with directors Felix Chong and Alan Mak while acting as the action director himself. Would he be able to capitalize on his recent fame and prove he’s more than a one-trick pony?
While you might not believe it at first, the story is one of the strongest things that the Lost Bladesman has going for it. There is a very interesting sway in allegiances that gives the plot the right pacing to keep people guessing. While it’s not a mystery as to who is doing what, the story brings these events to light at the right times to make you wonder how it will affect the characters. I’m not a history buff (by any means) and the story was simple enough to let me know what was going on while being interesting enough to keep me engaged.
The characters themselves are pretty interesting for the most part. Donnie Yen shines here as Guan Yu, a man who is forced to face his loyalty many times over. The character himself isn’t very deep, but that’s exactly what makes him so great. You see his evolution over the course of the film, as he wonders what’s really going on. Donnie has played stronger characters before, but it’s clear that he is becoming a good actor. Cao Cao is done very well also, striking a nice balance between suspicious and trustworthy.
The Lost Bladesman is an action film, but you won’t know it until the film hits the halfway mark. You’ll hardly see any action until that point, but when it happens, it’s awesome. The fights are very well done and have that “Donnie” flair to them. One of my favorite fights didn’t even actually show anything, but was done in such an interesting way that it stuck with me. There might be a sense of déjà vu with one of the fights when compared to Seven Swords, but overall the action is great.
Own it, Watch it, or Skip it?
The Lost Bladesman is a very strong film that has a lot going for it. While you may have to wait a bit for some fights to break out, the story is paced well enough to keep you entertained until that happens. Donnie is definitely growing as an actor, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten his roots at all. I don’t’ know if I’d go as far as saying this film is a must have, but I strongly suggest you give it a watch.
Special thanks to Wilson for the suggestion!