Reign of Assassins tells the story of the Wheel King in search of Bodhi’s, a legendary warrior, remains. With his band of assassins, he attempts to track down Drizzle, an assassin that turned against him and fled with one half of Bodhi’s remains. Drizzle undergoes surgery to change her appearance in order to start a new life in a quiet city, away from her old life. In the process, she falls in love and gets drawn back into the fray of her past. Quite a simple story that was cooked up as an excuse just to spill some blood. If you’re looking for an intelligent, thought-provoking story, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for high-octane, action-packed sword fights you’ve come to the right place.
First off I would like to say, this movie contains sword fights that I’ve never seen before. Drizzle wields a sword that bends and cuts like a whip on a stick. I’m not kidding. It’s so outrageous, it’s actually believable. By the end of the movie I was asking Fuad, “do such swords exist?” I haven’t done any research to find out yet, but it’s definitely something I haven’t seen anywhere. I guess some people might find it ridiculous, but in the context of a fantasy movie, it’s definitely not out of place. The other assassins have tricks of their own as well, but Drizzle’s swordplay was what I found most impressive.
Despite the impressive action sequences, the movie is neither here nor there. At times, it tries to be comedic, with some oddly placed gags during the slow paced parts of the movie, at other times it tries to be deeper than it really is, with the whole eunuch storyline of the Wheel King (that wasn’t fleshed out), and Drizzle’s trying to move on from her past life. Then we also have the element of magic, but only for one character- the Magician. I felt that if they wanted to have magic in the movie, they should have at least let it play a bigger part- by letting more than one character use it, and let the Magician use it more impressively. I mean, in one scene he throws a rope up into the air, climbs it, and disappears into a cloud. That seems like some pretty powerful magic to me. But when he’s fighting against the Wheel King, all he can do is muster up some flames to make his swords fiery. Come on! Why not use more powerful magic in such an important battle? And also- the reason the Wheel King goes through so much trouble for Bodhi’s corpse was not to rule the world, but to restore his ‘manhood’. Wow. I couldn’t have thought of a better reason myself. Why not just get the super surgeon to give you a new one? It sure beats me.
Overall, it was an alright movie- just don’t expect too much beyond brilliant swordplay. A standard popcorn affair. Go in and thrill yourself with the action scenes and forget about it. I’d rate Reign of Assassins 5/10.