The Assassins 2012 NR

Amazon Instant Video

(49) IMDb 5.4/10
Available in HD

Set in the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, the story focuses on Cao Cao in his old age, exploring the areas of military tactics, love, and the relationship between father and son.

Starring:
Yun-Fat Chow, Yifei Liu
Runtime:
1 hour 48 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

The Assassins

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Product Details

Genres Drama, International
Director Linshan Zhao
Starring Yun-Fat Chow, Yifei Liu
Supporting actors Hiroshi Tamaki, Alec Su, Roy Cheung, Ni Yan, Dahong Ni, Lu Yao, Yuan Nie
Studio Well Go USA
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Great story and good action, very well made.
comet
I have to admit, the movie jumped around a little bit so if you don't pay attention, you'll miss some things.
L. Nguyen
There are a few memorable scenes, but they easily get lost in the blur of repetitious actions.
Fred

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Bookworm on January 10, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First, the description provided by Amazon and Well Go USA (on the packaging of the DVD) confused me when I first started watching the film. Both descriptions reference the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD), and in reality, the film was based upon events at the end of the Eastern or Later Han Dynasty (25 AD - 220 AD) and the very beginning of the Three Kingdoms period. Added to that, the film seemed to be geared towards an audience familiar with this period of time and the major players (dead and alive). As such, I spent a lot of time figuring out who was who and how they fit into the overall story. If you are not too familiar with the story either, I would suggest you briefly educate yourself on Cao Cao and Xian, Emperor of Han, making note of how Dong Zhou fits into the picture. I anticipate this will help you better engage with the characters and enhance your enjoyment of the film.

From a cinematic perspective, I thought cinematographer, Zhao Xiao Ding's, use of muted colors along with bright colors to capture the mood was particularly well done. And as a directorial debut for Zhao Lin Shan, the film was good, but not quite on par with films like 'House of Flying Daggers' or 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.

Finally, 'Assassins' would have benefitted from a better developed romance between Mu Shun and Ling Ju, particularly as it relates to Mu Shun's role. However, from a political intrigue perspective, it was quite well done. I also liked the inclusion of Chinese opera, it added an emotionally poignant punch at the end.

I think 'Assassins' is probably worth watching at least once, but not a film you will come back to again. (3 1/2 stars)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Nguyen on February 10, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
I love Chow Yun Fat, so when I saw that he had a new movie out, I immediately rented it. The newer movies from China are noticeably more beautiful so I was expecting no less from this movie. I was not disappointed in the least about the cinematography. It was extremely crisp and clear and the use of colors and scenery were wonderful. The costumes were also visually stunning. Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the film for me.
This movie is about the story of Cao Cao, played by Chow Yun Fat. I've watched a couple of movies regarding the Three kingdoms of China so I sort of picked up some of the history between the movies and reading what I can about it. The last movie that I saw that showed Cao Cao in a negative light was Red Cliff (by the way, an excellent movie to watch if you like this time period ) so for some reason I had that mental picture of Cao Cao in my mind for this movie. This movie spun off a different view of Cao Cao which had me rooting for him. Interesting since I was predisposed to disliking him based on what I knew. Chow Yun Fat, was as always, amazing an that was probably what got me. He is such a gifted actor that I'm always blown away by how he interprets and portrays the characters that he is playing. He IS the character and I forget that he is just Chow Yun Fat in a costume. Very multi-dimensional picture of his character- which for me kept me interested in his acting more so the movie. There was also a great supporting cast. I've seen a lot of Crystal Liu Fei in her mainland television series and most of her movies so I wasn't particularly very surprised by her performance. The others I was unfamiliar with but I can't say that I was disappointed at all with the cast.
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Format: Blu-ray
When it comes to Chinese historical dramas, the warlord and chancellor Cao Cao has been featured in various films and video games.

A man who has been portrayed as cruel in order to achieve dominance in China and thus looked at as a tyrant, he is also praised as a military genius. But while historians will forever debate Cao Cao and many loose film adaptations continue to be created on historical figures, in today's modern age, you tend to watch these films and not take it so much as factual history but as entertainment.

And who best to write the film than Bin Wang ("House of Flying Daggers", "Hero") and feature the work of director Linshan Zhao. And for marketability, cast as Cao Cao is actor Chow Yun-Fat ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "The Killer", "Hard Boiled", "Curse of the Golden Flower"), to promote the film overseas, Japanese actor Hiroshi Tamaki ("Nodame Cantabile", "Last Christmas", "Waterboys") was also cast as the character Mu Shun and cast for the female lead of Ling Ju is up-and-coming actress Crystal Liu Yi Fei ("White Vengeance", "The Forbidden Kingdom").

VIDEO:

"The Assassins" is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio) with beautiful cinematography by Xiaoding Zhao ("House of the Flying Daggers", "Curse of the Golden Flower", "The Flowers of War"). With that being said, it looks like there was quite a bit of experimentation on colors. For one, the film looks great when it showcases more blues or even the red dress of Lingju. Picture quality also has some softness and the occasional white specks (which was actually surprising considering this film was released in theaters less than four months ago. But while the film is not the most detailed in HD, it does look good most of the time.
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