The Lost Bladesman DVD Review
Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen can’t save “The Lost Bladesman.”
Set during 198 A.D., the 2011 film “The Lost Bladesman” revolves around an oxcart driver turned General (Guan) who is loyal to Lord Liu Bei. Guan becomes placed in an awkward situation when he is held captive by Liu’s enemy the Han Dynasty warlord Lord Cao Cao. Guan reluctantly serves Cao in battle in order to bring about peace and because Liu Bei’s concubine Qilan (whom Guan has a crush on) is also a prisoner of Cao Cao. After battling on behalf of Cao Cao, Guan leaves with Qilan to reunite with Liu Bei, but unfortunately, Guan becomes a marked man as he could be a future threat to which ever side he opposes.
Despite boasting the acting talents of martial arts superstar Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen (both of whom will soon be seen in the upcoming “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”), “The Lost Bladesman” lacks an emotional punch. Yen and Wen both bring their A game here and are easily the best part of the film, but their performances and the action set pieces primarily involving Yen aren’t enough. Granted, Donnie Yen fans who are tuning in simply for the epic action may be rewarded, but I require more out of an action movie than just that.
For the most part, the historical based “The Lost Bladesman” is an overlong bore filled with wordy exposition, stiff dialogue, philosophical rants, overdone themes of honor and trust, and political yammering. Perhaps the most perplexing aspect is the fact that this movie shortchanges the viewers in the storytelling department. See the film’s climactic title cards to see what I mean. Essentially, we’re only getting a snapshot of Guan’s life here and it’s not the most interesting part by any means.
Presentation: 2.35:1. How does it look? This crisp standard def transfer really showcases the breathtaking cinematography.
Audio Track: Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? Between the thumping score and lively action, this track delivers.
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