May Contain Spoilers
The Guillotines 血滴子 is a 2012 Hong Kong release and a 2013 U.S release directed & produced by Andrew Lau and written by a host of writers (see special notes). The film stars Huang Xiaoming, Ethan Ruan, Shawn Yue, Li Yuchun and Jing Boran.
During the Qing Dynasty that was under Manchurian law, Emperor Yong Zheng established a secret squad known as the Guillotines to assanate all who opposed him. Once favored by the Emperor, the Guillotines were considered a “dirty” secret and were to be destroyed once Emperor Qian Long ascended the throne and adopted Western ideas and technology. To unify his power under his reign, the Emperor continued to use the Guillotines to conquer the Han Chinese people in terror and fear.
The guillotines are led by master guillotine Leng (Ethan Ruan) and consists of six young warriors: Musen (Li Yuchun), Houjia Shisan (Jing Boran), Chen Tai (Purba Rgyal), Hutu (Tian Gao), Su (Peng Guo) and Buka (Yi Wei Zhou). Always loyal to the Qing court, they have never failed in their missions but their most recent mission to catch the criminal called Wolf (Huang Xiaoming) may well be their last.
This wasn’t a bad movie once you get pass the misrepresentation of the trailer and the beginning sequence. So if you are expecting to see a martial arts film, you WILL not get it here. Set your expectations low and you will thoroughly enjoy this movie. The best thing about this movie is the soundtrack:)
That is a major disappointment because the beginning sequence will have you ready for some fast action, intense guillotine welding bad ass men and a woman. The fighting sequence has awesome choreography with the added bonus of great animation and visuals AND then…… you will NOT see any more bad ass guillotine welding.
The story takes a drastic turn into morals and loyalty. I have concluded that the entire movie focused on Nala Leng (Ethan Ruan). He was one of two young boys that were chosen as servants to the young prince, Qian Long and out of the two boys, Leng was chosen to join the Guillotines and later become the head of the special group. His loyalties are tested on the last mission when he’s been ordered to destroy the existence of The Guillotines. He considers them to be his family since they were all orphans when chosen for this team. To protect his brothers or to protect the Dynasty is the dilemma. In the end he chose the side of right but at a huge price. He is the only survivor and after delivering a very important prophesy, he asks for death.
About the prophesy, this only comes to light in the last half of the movie. It was so unexpected or perhaps it wasn’t, it may have gotten lost in my translation because my expectations of this movie were dashed at the beginning.
Again, I will say this movie wasn’t that bad once you get over the disappointment of not seeing more guillotine welding but as for me, I only stayed because I chose this as my Movie for the week but Ethan Ruan made it more pleasurable since he was my eye candy for 2 hours.
Writing team: Jojo Hui, Joyce Chan, Aubrey Lam, Philip Lui, Guo Junli, & Chi Ka-kei
Producers: Peter Chan, Jojo Hui, Qin Hong, & Lorraine Ho