14 Blades with Donnie YenYet another deviation from the list! 14 Blades is another film from the Hong Kong star Donnie Yen, who wanted to try playing as a character who was a ” villain who discovers his humanity“.

This film is reasonably new film (2010), and was released just before Ip Man 2. Unfortunately, it’s never going to be seen as one of Donnie Yen’s best.

The basic premise is about Donnie Yen’s character Qing Long, the head of the Jinyiwei, an elite group of secret police for the government during the late Ming Dynasty.

Qing Long and his men are then sent on a mission to kill the Imperial councillor Zhao Shenyan to a list of traitors’ names that is within a safebox.

Instead Qing Long learns that the box contains an imperial seal (a seal that marks the Emperor’s Authority), and that there are plans to use it in order to legitimize false documents for Prince Qing (Sammo Hung).  Qing Qong is then betrayed by his men and on the run, marked as a traitor.

The Villain who discovers his Humanity

Donnie Yen as Qing Long

Donnie Yen’s idea of playing this villain, is quite apparent toward the beginning of the film as he seems quite threatening towards innocent people.  He uses a small boy to manipulate the box out of  Zhao Shenyan, and even kidnaps Qiao Hua, the daughter of Qiao Yong, who owns the Escort Service.

It is when he is with Qiao Yong that he starts to grow and become a better person.  He reveals that as a child he had to kill his brother in a ‘kill or be killed’ style match to become a Jinyiwei, and that having to live through this ordeal has made his life far worse than death.

He continues on, vowing to reclaim his dignity.

The Visual Style of 14 Blades

Visually, the movie has a very ominous atmosphere, especially in the beginning.  With most scenes being at night, but showing a little more sunlight it seems as Qing Long  character starts to develop.

Visual style of 14 Blades

Everything down to the environment, the blades and even the hairstyle is done very artistically, and gives the movie a really unique look.

The visual effects are a little cheap looking however, with some shots looking dead basic, but it seems to carry through not too bad, as these shots are usually quick.

The Martial Arts

The action in the movie is done well, but spread thin.  The action doesn’t seem to build very much and is over quicker than it starts.

What you do see is still top notch Donnie Yen Martial Arts, with a little extra wire work and a supernatural theme to some of the fighting.

Tuo TuoThe main reason for this supernatural action is the character Tuo Tuo, who has the ability to teleport (kind of?), and move her body in a way that makes her virtually impossible to land an attack on.  While it makes for an interesting villain, but it’s a pretty strained fight scene.

Overall, the quality of the fights are good, but they’re just too short to really enjoy, and finish with a bit of an anti climax.

On Blu-Ray –

Region A (US & Canada)
14 Blades on Blu-Ray (Region Free)

Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, etc)
14 Blades on Blu-Ray

On DVD –

Region 1 (US & Canada)
14 Blades on DVD

Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
14 Blades on DVD

Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
14 Blades on DVD

More info on DVD & Blu Ray regions here

25 Martial Arts Movies All Fans Must See - FREE

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