If you’ve seen any trailers for this film you might be tempted to think of it as this year’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It isn’t. First of all it isn’t quite as good, but secondly the story is very different. Yes, both feature stunning martial arts displays, including fighting in tree-tops and across water, but they differ in many respects.
The story centre’s around the Nameless hero who comes to the King of Qin in order to present him with three weapons, as a sign that he has defeated the three greatest assassins; Sky, Snow and Broken Sword. Nameless then proceeds to tell how he obtained the spear and two swords.
Things are not that simple however, and the King offers a different interpretation to events. He does not believe that Nameless is the saviour he makes out to be.
The story is set in China around 2,000 years ago, and tells of how the King of Qin set out to ruthlessly conquer the six kingdoms, and to enforce peace.
Visually the film is stunning, there is no doubt. And the fight scenes are more than entertaining. But overall the film is quite distant from the audience. Perhaps it is because the culture is so foreign to me? Or maybe it is simply the style, I don’t know. But I never really engaged with any of the characters, well perhaps a small bit at the end, but I still didn’t really understand their actions.
What I found really interesting about this film is that the central moral seems so different from what one would expect in a “western” film.Show Spoiler ▼
I’m not saying that western culture is inherently selfish, although that could be argued. It is more that society is founded on individuals and their rights, rather than individuals making up a society (if that makes sense).
And as for the notion of making war to enforce peace? Of reducing all differences to form one culture in order to do away with difficulty between people. That I do not agree with.
Enjoyable, Entertaining, but lacks something