Brothers to the End.
Director Lu Yang (My Spectacular Theatre) in only his second film takes us back forty years, to the heyday of the martial arts classic films. With a great story of the intrigue and savagery of the Imperial city in the 17th Century China, this is a classic story of betrayal and vengeance with amazing sword fights and Action.
Beijing 1620’s and the Imperial City has been in the hands of the head Eunuch Wei Zhongxian (Chin Shi-chieh, The Final Master) the head of the Imperial Assassins. He also has dedicated followers known as the ‘Clique’. His eight year rule has come to an end, now the young Emperor Chongzhen has come to power and he send Wei off to a far flung outpost of Fengyang. He realises that seven out of the ten advisers are loyal to Wei so he wants them all arrested and interrogated.
The night watch are out in the chilly air with their lantern lighting the way when one of them spots movement in the shadows. He discovers the Imperial Assassins on their way to arrest one of the Clique. The Clique member is in hiding in a friends house and after some violent persuasion, he indicates where their quarry is.
He flees and a chase through the dark streets ensues until finally he is captured and taken away. The Brotherhood of blades consists of three sworn friends, Shen Lian (Chen Chang, The Assassin), Jin Yichuan (Dong-xue Li, 1911) and Lu Jianxing (Qianyuan Wang, Saving Mr. Wu). Even though they are in the Imperial Assassins they are low paid and have no influential friends within the city, both of which are required to make headway in society. The impoverished Shen wants to buy the freedom of the Imperial prostitute Zhou Miaotong (Shishi Liu, Badges of Fury) but on his wages it is an impossible as he also has someone blackmailing him Ding Xiu (Yi Wei Zhou, The Guillotines).
After the prisoner gives up his information Zhao Jingzhong (Yuan Nie, The Lost Bladesman) sends the three to catch Wei. They and many others gallop off to catch Wei in Fucheng County.
While the others guard the four gates to the town our three take to the roofs and manage to work out where Wei is hiding. They are soon battling Wei’s followers (The first of ace sword fights for the three) and as Lu and Jin slice through the opposition Shen heads up stairs in the tavern.
He finds Wei and his servant in a back room, he goes to do his job when Wei begs for his life and explains that the new Emperor wants his huge fortune to fund his army to take control of other counties and he offers Shen a fortune in gold Taels and much more to spare his life.
This is for the fans of sword play and amazing skill of these films, a must have.
“You take this money you die, you don’t take it… you still die.