Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Broad Green Enters Long-Term Home Video Deal with Universal for Burgeoning Slate Broad Green Enters Long-Term Home Video Deal with Universal for Burgeoning Slate Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Watch 'SPECTRE' Trailer: James Bond Meets the Author of His Pain Watch 'SPECTRE' Trailer: James Bond Meets the Author of His Pain 'BoJack Horseman,' 'Rick and Morty,' and Our Love/Hate Relationship with TV 'BoJack Horseman,' 'Rick and Morty,' and Our Love/Hate Relationship with TV Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) First Look at Julianne Moore and Ellen Page as a Gay Couple in 'Freeheld' First Look at Julianne Moore and Ellen Page as a Gay Couple in 'Freeheld' Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

Weinstein Co. Sits On Reign of Assassins Starring Michelle Yeoh, Early Reviews

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 15, 2011 at 12:20PM

Talking to The Lady star Michelle Yeoh in Toronto reminded me. Where is Reign of Assassins, which I saw at the Venice Film Festival in August, 2010? Weinstein Co. has been sitting on the elaborate martial arts fantasy from directors Su Chao-Pin and John Woo, which is a well-executed period action flick. The romance between Yeoh and my fave Korean star Jung Woo-Sung (The Good, The Bad and the Weird) works well—Yeoh’s playing the role of the veteran gunfighter (or sword-flying assassin) trying to go straight who falls in love with a regular guy. The overall film is not at the Woo level--he basically produced it. But the movie has elements of a Hong Kong Mr and Mrs. Smith. What are they waiting for? These two early reviews are mixed:
1
Thompson on Hollywood

Talking to The Lady star Michelle Yeoh in Toronto reminded me. Where is Reign of Assassins, which I saw at the Venice Film Festival in August, 2010? Weinstein Co. has been sitting on the elaborate martial arts fantasy from directors Su Chao-Pin and John Woo, which is a well-executed period action flick. The romance between Yeoh and my fave Korean star Jung Woo-Sung (The Good, The Bad and the Weird) works well—Yeoh’s playing the role of the veteran gunfighter (or sword-flying assassin) trying to go straight who falls in love with a regular guy. The overall film is not at the Woo level--he basically produced it. But the movie has elements of a Hong Kong Mr and Mrs. Smith. What are they waiting for? These two early reviews are mixed:

Deborah Young at THR:

"Little logic prevails over the final action sequences, which take place near the speed of light. Just when Zeng Jing is overcome and all looks lost, her clumsy husband retrieves his rusty sword and reveals his true identity. His heroic transformation doesn't come as much of a surprise, but it is an exhilarating moment that makes the last scenes exciting as well as touching, when the husband and wife open old wounds, fight each other and test their love and spirit of self-sacrifice…The ending is moving and poetic, confirming the acting depths of the two principals, who are much more than martial-arts stars. Another nod goes to the character actors, who round out the film with unexpected humor. Like the cast, the top-grade technical staff comes from all over Asia."

Guy Lodge at InContention:

"Indeed, while a number of pejoratives could be applied to Su Chao-Pin and John Woo’s elaborate martial-arts fantasy Reign of Assassins – silly, plasticky, just barely acquainted with notions of narrative coherence – “dreary” is not among them…Reign of Assassins lacks the technical grace and advanced set-piece conception of, say, Woo’s Red Cliff but it does boast a goofy sense of humor, as well as a certain elasticity of genre as endearing as it is initially bewildering: this is the rare fighting film that takes sideways strolls into supernatural video-game territory and meet-cute rom-com…The stupid dial is turned way up – this is a film where actors deserve bouquets for belting out dialogue like “Let me reap the consequences of karma!” without corpsing – but so is the good humor, and that counts for everything in a bauble like this."


This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Genres, Headliners, Reviews, Thriller, Independents, comedy, Western, Foreign


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.