Blade of Kings is arguably the worst film I’ve seen Donnie Yen attached to and despite a few fun moments, it’s pretty terrible and I can’t find much to recommend it.
Plot: In the mythical land of Huadu, Charcoal Head, a humble boy born to rule an empire must undertake his journey to claim his throne. It is an epic action adventure combining romance, fantasy, comedy and cutting edge Hong Kong style martial artistry.
Review: You’d think a movie with Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan on the cast list would be something really special… and you’d be wrong, if this film is anything to go by.
I’m a huge fan of both actors who are sadly only in a couple of scenes. Chan is literally a cameo and his fight scene with Yen is arguably the only redeeming feature of the movie.
Donnie Yen spends most of his scenes watching from a distance as other people do things and he is completely wasted in the role.
Normally, I’m very lenient with reviews and try to be as generous as possible as I understand how difficult it is to get a film made but this movie wastes what could have been an interesting premise with annoying characters and a total lack of humour. I think it’s MEANT to be funny but the only humour was how it’s so laughably bad.
CGI has its place but it is never in a martial arts movie and it looks particularly terrible in this.
Jaycee Chan (son of Jackie) is the lead, bizarrely named Charcoal Head and he is a dead ringer for his father. It’s unclear whether he has the same fighting skills as Jackie but we never get to see in this movie. Any time there is a fight scene, some awful CGI comes on-screen and distracts you from anything else.
Charlene Choi’s character 13th Master is really annoying and I found that I just wasn’t rooting for anyone; I thought just let the evil Queen wipe out this race of annoying and bizarre characters and I’ll go watch Ip Man again instead.
Redeeming qualities? The story is kind of an interesting idea but its execution is poor and feels like a missed opportunity. The score also has a theme tune that goes through your head for weeks after watching it. Like I said, the fight scene between Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan is decent too.
It’s also very colourful with some nice costume design and Donnie Yen’s very presence elevates it.
Overall, Blade of Kings is arguably the worst film I’ve seen Donnie Yen attached to and despite a few fun moments, it’s pretty terrible and I can’t find much to recommend it.