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14 Blades

14 Blades“Nail-biting action, superb martial arts
  and inventive sets and characters
  combine with a talented cast to make
  the period thriller 14 Blades one of the
  best films of the martial arts genre

IN THIS SUPERB HISTORICAL MARTIAL ARTS EPIC the Ming Dynasty has begun and with it the fight to establish power and keep it from those who seek to overthrow the Emperor and take control. In order to keep his bloodline on the throne, the Emperor creates the Jinyiwei the Brocade Guards to protect the Imperial Court.

The Jinyiwei warriors are involved with military and political affairs and have their own code of law. Recruited from street orphans, they are trained under a strict, totalitarian regime to the highest possible martial arts standard. Their commander-general, given the name Qinglong (Donnie Yen: Bodyguards And Assassins; Ip Man; An Empress And The Warriors), is the best fighter and has control of a large box containing the fourteen impressive steel blades of the film's title.

Eight of the blades (marked Sky, Earth, Rank, Law, Wisdom, Trust, Benevolence and Bravery) are used for interrogation. The remaining six are used for the execution of those who disobey the Court and the Emperor; those who interfere with the imperial administration; those who go against the law; those who commit treason; the guards who go against their Jinyiwei brothers; and the sixth is a golden sword used by the Jinyiwei warrior either to fulfil a mission or for taking his own life should he fail.

Evil eunuch Jia Jing Zhong (Kar-Ying Law) is in league with the Emperor's uncle Prince Qing (Sammo Hung Kam-Bo: Three Kingdoms; Kill Zone), who led a thwarted revolt during the last emperor's reign that cost him both his legs and resulted in his exile, and they are plotting against the Emperor in order to seize power.

The uprising must be stopped at all costs and Qinglong (Green Dragon) is given an imperial mission to steal a list identifying those still loyal to the Emperor. But he is betrayed and framed for treason, horrified to discover that the Jinyiwei themselves have fallen under the control of Jia and that he is now a wanted man.

Barely escaping with his life, Qinglong must find and rally the loyalists to rise against Jia and restore the Emperor to power; thus preventing a possible long and painful war. On the run and standing against the deadliest assassins in the land who were once his brethren, he is unexpectedly befriended and helped by Qiao Yang, who runs Justice Escorts — a band of companions who protect travellers — and his daughter Qiao Hua (Wei Zhao: Mulan; Red Cliff; Shaolin Soccer).

At risk from the determination of brutal General Xuan Wu (Yuwu Qi) and the beautiful but cold-blooded Tuo Tuo (former Miss Hong Kong Kate Tsui: Short Of Love), Qinglong is going to need to take on the notorious Sky Eagles Clan and win the respect of their leader, known as the Judge of the Desert (Chun Wu, making a very creditable debut appearance).

With former allies now his enemies and the emotionless Tuo Tuo hot on his trail, Qinglong must try to stay alive in order to protect the woman he loves, the lovely Qiao Hua, who is betrothed to another. But he should not underestimate the highly-honed skills of Tuo Tuo, whose talents challenge even those of Qinglong.

Nominated for two Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Action Choreography (for Ku Huen Chiu, the marital arts co-ordinator on Kill Bill), 14 Blades won the prestigious Shanghai Film Critics Award for Best Actress (Wei Zhao) and 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 US $21 million to date, making it the country's eighth most successful film in the first half of 2010.

14 Blades
delivers on every level: from breathtaking wire work, dazzling swordfights, incredible martial arts action, marvellous set pieces, epic scenery, cool spaghetti western-style soundtrack, an emotional romantic sub-plot and an ultra-sexy, cold-hearted female villain who is wraith-like in her ability to avoid contact, casting off her outer garments and spinnng back into them in the blink of an eye. A fabulously exciting, highly-impressive and visual martial arts movie with nail-biting action seamlessly showcasing talented filmmakers.

The film also features: Damian Lau (Three Kingdoms) as Zhao Shenyan; Ma Wu (House Of Fury) as Jiao Zhong; Kuan Tai Chin as Water Moon Monk; Chen Zhi Hui as Bai Hu; Hak On Fung and Xiang Dong Xu. Cinematography by Tony Cheung; Original Music by Henry Lai; Produced by Susanna Tsang; Written by Abe Kwong and Daniel Lee; and Directed by Daniel Lee, who is also Production Designer.

* An action-packed, awe-inspiring and sumptuously designed tale of heroism, intrigue and romance, 14 Blades is the latest historical martial arts epic from Daniel Lee (acclaimed director of Three Kingdoms and Dragon Squad), and will be released by Icon Home Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray on 16 August 2010. Certificate: 15 | RRP: £17.99 (DVD): £17.99 (Blu-ray).

Special Features — Making Of 14 Blades (including interviews with cast and crew) | Trailer.

"14 Blades… A fabulously exciting, highly-impressive and visual martial arts movie with nail-biting action seamlessly showcasing talented filmmakers" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"14 Blades is a true marvel… A perfect update of the martial arts genre" — Twitch