The Lost Bladesman (2011)

Another great film which is loosely based in the Novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Donnie Yen plays the legendary Guan Yu, sworn brother to the warlord Liu Bei.  The Lost Bladesman tells a tale of Guan Yu’s relationship with Cao Cao, who is generally portrayed as an evil man in the books, games, television, and movies.  However Jiang Wen (who I personally think is an amazing actor) does much to make him seem more human than just an evil dictator.  I’m not going to go into anymore of the plot as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

Reviews have been mixed for Western Audiences/Critics , some complain about the political drama being too predictable, others that there were too many named characters in the film (obviously uninitiated to the Three Kingdoms), and many (both critics and audience) complain about the lack of scale and character development.  Although everyone seems to agree that the action is superb.  Personally I’m biased as I like just about every Donnie Yen movie to date (there are a few exceptions).  I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the PRC undertone to some scenes, but I may have been reading too much into it. Obviously there are issues with the film, but it is still entertaining and shines a different, almost human, light on these legendary Heroes.  So I would still recommend watching this film if you have 107 minutes to spare.


Alan Mak Siu-Fai, Director, Scritp
Felix Chong Man-Keung, Director, Scritp
Donnie Yen Ji-Dan, Action Director (Wing Chun, Wu Xia, Kung Fu Jungle)
Yan Hua, Action Director (Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, Kung Fu Jungle)

Donnie Yen (The Kung Fu Master tv series, Painted Skin, Hero) as Guan Yu, a general who serves Cao Cao briefly before leaving to reunite with Liu Bei.
Jiang Wen (Warriors of Heaven and Earth) as Cao Cao, a warlord and chancellor of the Han Dynasty.
Alex Fong (The Storm Riders, Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain 2006) as Liu Bei, a warlord and Guan Yu’s sworn brother.
Chin Siu-ho (Ten Tigers of Kwangtung, The Brave Archer and His Mate) as Yan Liang, a general under Yuan Shao who is killed by Guan Yu at the beginning of the film.
Sun Li (Fearless, Painted Skin, The Legend of Zhen Huan) as Qilan, Liu Bei’s concubine and the love interest of Guan Yu.
Andy On (The White Dragon, Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon, White Vengeance) as Kong Xiu, the general defending Dongling Pass.
Shao Bing (The Myth, The Butterfly Lovers, Saving General Yang) as Zhang Liao, a general under Cao Cao and a close friend of Guan Yu.
Calvin Li (Reign of Assassins, Painted Skin tv series) as Qin Qi, the archer who attempts to kill Guan Yu in the forest.
Wang Po-chieh (Bodyguards and Assassins) as Emperor Xian of Han, the nominal ruler of the Han Dynasty.
Wang Xuebing (The White-Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom) as Wang Zhi, the official in charge of Xingyang.
Chen Hong (The Promise, Romance of the Three Kingdoms tv series, The Return of the Condor Heroes 1998) as Lady Gan, Liu Bei’s first wife.
Zhao Ke as Lady Mi, Liu Bei’s second wife.
Dong Yong as Xun You, Cao Cao’s advisor.
Nie Yuan (Fearless, Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain 2006, Three Kingdoms tv series) as Han Fu, a blacksmith in Luoyang who is an old friend of Guan Yu.
Heizi (Hero, Silver Hawk) as Meng Tan, Han Fu’s sworn brother.
Yu Ailei (The Warring States, The Bodyguard) as Bian Xi, the general defending Yishui Pass.
Sang Ping as Xu Chu, a general under Cao Cao.
Zhou Bo (A Battle of Wits, The Warlords, An Empress and the Warriors, Wu Xia) as Pujing, a monk who heals Guan Yu.

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7 thoughts on “The Lost Bladesman (2011)

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