The Assassin Blu-ray Review
“The Assassin” will divide viewers.
The story: Having trained to be an assassin under a nun-princess for many years, Nie Yinniang is assigned to kill the cousin (Tian) she was arranged to marry in order to test and strengthen her. As she travels back home to the Weibo province to carry out her mission, Nie finds that politics and her own feelings get in the way of her mission.
To say Director Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Chinese martial arts film ‘The Assassin” has received mixed reviews is an understatement. On one hand, there are critics and viewers who are showering the film with praise and awards. On the other hand, there are many viewers that find it to be an utter bore. Unfortunately, I find that my own opinion falls in the latter category.
While the film is visually beautiful (thanks to Mark Lee Ping Bin’s gorgeous cinematography), the film tests your patience from the beginning. Not only are the characters and their actions vague and strangely detached, but the film is stuffed with long shots of a bath preparation, instrument playing, characters standing, kids playing with a ball, and characters sitting and staring around. The slow pacing and artistic style wouldn’t be an issue if the film went somewhere, but it’s entirely dull and anti-climactic.
Now, I’m sure many readers out there are wondering about the action. I wish I could say the martial arts sequences make the movie worth watching, but they don’t. The action is short and in small supply. Furthermore, the scenes are not very well staged and the editing of them is strangely clunky.
Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? Say what you will about the film, but it certainly looks beautiful. From the B&W opening to the lush forest exteriors, the cinematography is positively breathtaking.
Audio Track: Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The nature, dialogue, and action
* Well Go USA trailers and a trailer for “The Assassin.”
* 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes titled “Nie Yinniang,” “The Actors: No Rehearsals,” “The Fights Between Masters,” and “A Time Machine To The Tang Dynasty.”
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