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14 Blades - Preview & competition

14 Blades

Preview by Jack Foley

THE latest historical martial arts epic from Daniel Lee, the acclaimed director of Three Kingdoms and Dragon Squad, 14 Blades stars Donnie Yen (Bodyguards And Assassins), Wei Zhao (Mulan; Red Cliff), Damian Lau (Three Kingdoms), Ma Wu (House Of Fury), Sammo Hung (Three Kingdoms) and former Miss Hong Kong, Kate Tsui (Short Of Love), in an action-packed, awe-inspiring and sumptuously mounted tale of heroism, intrigue and romance.

Nominated for two Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Action Choreography (for Ku Huen Chiu, the martial arts co-ordinator on Kill Bill), the winner of the prestigious Shanghai Film Critics’ Award for Best Actress (Wei Zhao), and the winner of the Best Fight Scene award at this year’s inaugural Action Fest, the film’s notable box office performance in China has seen it taking the equivalent of 21 million US dollars to date, making it the country’s eighth most successful film in the first half of 2010.

At the dawn of the Ming Dynasty, in order to consolidate all power and keep his bloodline on the throne, the Emperor established a secure system of defence for himself by taking young orphans off the street and training them to the highest martial arts standards to become his secret guards.

Called Jinyiwei, the Brocade Guards, these warriors operated under their own code of law, led by the most skilled of their number, Qinglong (Yen). Bestowed upon him as leader is a box containing 14 steel blades, eight of which are to be used for interrogation and the remaining six for execution.

When the Imperial Court is usurped by the evil eunuch Jia, Qinglong is assigned to steal a list identifying those still loyal to the Emperor.

But unknown to him, the Jinyiwei themselves have fallen under the control of Jia, who, in league with an exiled noble, Prince Qing (Hung), is plotting to rebel against the Emperor and seize power.

During his mission to obtain the list, Qinglong is betrayed by his own men and barely escapes with his life. Now, as the most wanted man in the land, he must seek out and rally the loyalists to rise against Jia and restore the Emperor to power. But standing before him are the deadliest assassins in the land – his former brethren, the Jinyiwei.

Featuring breathtaking wire-work, dazzling swordfights, incredible martial arts action, over-the-top set pieces, epic scenery, a cool Spaghetti western style soundtrack, a heartstring-tugging romantic sub-plot and a super-sexy female villain in the form of Kate Tsui, 14 Blades delivers on every level.

14 Blades (cert. 15) will be released on DVD (£17.99) and Blu-ray (£17.99) by Icon Home Entertainment on August 16, 2010. Special Features include: interviews with cast and crew.

Win 14 Blades on DVD

To celebrate the release of 14 Blades on DVD on August 16, 2010, IndieLondon is offering readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies. Simply answer the following question…

Q. What is the name of the choreographer behind many of the fight scenes in 14 Blades?

Simply send the answer to 14 Blades competition and include your name, address, telephone number and email