Xiu Chun Dao, or Brotherhood Of Blades (to use it’s English name), is a story set in the late Ming Dynasty. Telling the story of three (Lu Jian Xing, Shen Lian and Jin Yichuan)Palace Assassins, as they struggle to maintain their honour and ethics, amidst all the corruption, and evils of the city, where life is taken in an instant by the stroke of a sword.
While the story is about the three elite warriors, it goes far beyond this, inviting the viewer to take a peak under the veil of secrecy and into this secret world.
Sworn brothers, the bond between these three is tested to breaking point, as they both struggle to maintain this connection, and fulfil their own goals.
While Brotherhood Of Blades is full of expertly choreographed and executed fight scenes, masterfully directed, with such skilled fighters that it feels more like a ballet, and it is only once blood is spilt, that one remembers the characters are likely fighting to the death, and not merely dancing.
While these fights are plentiful, the story is not just one about violence and corruption, at its heart, it is a love story. A love for a beautiful young girl, admired from afar for many years, and a story of love for a brother in arms, for whom one would give their life.
Brotherhood Of Blades is an enjoyable tale, with excellent choreography, and anyone who enjoys the martial arts is sure to add this to their collection.
Disc And Bonus Features
The disc is encoded at a high bitrate, meaning there are no visible artefacts, and it can be scaled up to a larger, or higher resolution screen, via software or hardware.
As the film dialogue is in Mandarin, with some Mongolian, English viewers will be reliant on subtitles. This are rather fast to appear on-screen in several places, which would prompt slower readers to pause the disc on occasion in order to keep up with what is being said. Thankfully this doesn’t cause one to be totally lost. Viewers with smaller, or older screens might have a bit of a tough time with the test, if it is not clear on their screens, however those with larger screens (especially those with flat panels) shouldn’t have any problem.
Audio is presented in a 5.1 soundtrack, adding to the on-screen action, and broadening the story environment, drawing the user in to the drama, and making them a part of the action.
There is unfortunately no bonus content on the disc, other than a few trailers at the beginning.
Brotherhood Of Blades is available for purchase now, on disc, in South Africa.