- Actors: Tang Thanh Ha, Ngoc Quyên, Diem My, Kim Dung
- Directors: Nguyen Quang Dung
- Format: PAL
- Language: Vietnamese
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 15
- Studio: Terracotta Distribution
- DVD Release Date: 10 Mar. 2014
- Run Time: 89 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00GA7WQCW
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,752 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
The Lady Assassin [DVD]
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A sexy, action packed martial-arts fantasy proving looks can kill. Four drop dead gorgeous women operate a tavern to lure businessmen and corrupt officials to a bloody death. The sword-fighting sirens take on a new recruit, an innocent young woman whose family has been killed by an evil general, and train her to become a skilled assassin to avenge her family's massacre. Feisty women with dark secrets, evil outlaws, corrupt officials and a healthy dose of martial arts action come together to help create the biggest ever box office hit in Vietnam.
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Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 4th, 2014 Thanks to 10K Bullets website.
Synopsis: Four female assassins use a remotely located tavern to lure, kill and rob from thieves and corrupt government officials.
The premise is basic and straightforward. The narrative follows your atypical martial arts layout. The opening act establishes who everyone is, the middle act is spent building up the character / characters through a series of training sequences and the final act sees the results of the aforementioned training as this film’s main characters face off against their nemesis . And though there is some familiarity due to the formulaic structure of the film. There are a few interesting surprises along the way to keep things moving forward. Needless to say there is never dull moment or wasted opportunity when it comes to this films female cast members.
In recent years the martial arts genre has gotten a slight make-over, with the majority of the film’s hailing from China taking on a more political tone. Fortunately every so often comes along a film like The Lady Assassin (a Vietnamese film) a film that gives this genre a much needed jolt in the arm by echoing the things from this genres past that were once its bread and butter.
The action sequences in The Lady Assassin are all inventive and well executed, especially the use of ball on the end of rope as not only a weapon, but a means to ascend from one place to another. Another area where this film often excels is the way in which it effortlessly incorporates humor in the story at hand. This is most noticeable during the playful banter between the female assassins.
When it comes to performances there are two that stand out head and shoulders above the rest, Thanh Hang in the role of mentor of the female assassins and Tang Thanh Ha in the role of a young woman who the female assassins befriend and help train so that she can exact her own revenge. Ultimately what The Lady Assassin lacks in substance it more than makes up for with bombastic style and engaging cast of characters.
Terracotta Distribution presents The Lady Assassin in an anamorphic widescreen that retains this films intended aspect ratio. The source used Is in great shape, as there are no issues with compression or edge enhancement. Overall this is a well author disc.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Vietnamese and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. It should be noted that during there are two musical numbers that are not subtitled. Range wise things are appropriately robust when they need to be, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include a trailer and photo gallery for the film and trailers for other titles also available from Terracotta Distribution. Overall The Lady Assassin gets a strong audio / video presentation from Terracotta Distribution.
Fortunately for us 'The Lady Assassin' did not run into such problems, was a massive hit within Vietnam and did receive International Distribution as it’s presumably an easy sell. Martial Arts, beautiful women, lesbian overtones and exotic locations tends to equal 'Sold' to the intended market!
The plot, such as it is, starts with a gang of soldiers transporting an important official chest who stop at an out-of-the-way tavern in the countryside. The tavern is staffed by beautiful women who quickly set upon and ruthlessly murder the soldiers as the staff are actually bandits and assassins. Inside the chest, amongst the treasure is a young female prisoner, Linh Lan, with vengeance in her heart for the man who put her there, Quan Du, a corrupt official who murdered her family. The leader of the staff/bandits, Kieu Thi, feeling a mixture of pity and attraction for Linh Lan decides to spare her life and train her as an assassin so that she can avenge her family by killing Quan Du. The new recruit upsets the balance within the existing team, however and the secrets that bubble out threaten to destroy them all.
'The Lady Assassin' is a fun movie which doesn’t take itself particularly seriously and for most of its short runtime maintains a consistently light and goofy tone. It is very reminiscent of the 80’s and 90’s Chinese Wuxia movies that got me hooked on Asian cinema in the first place and with the theme of a outlaw-run country tavern under threat from corrupt officials I was very much reminded of Tsui Hark’s 'New Dragon Gate Inn' from 1992. This movie is nowhere near as good as that one though, there’s no depth to it, but with a run-time of roughly 90 minutes it doesn’t drag or overstay it’s welcome. The movie is also quite beautifully shot, making full use of Vietnam’s lush scenery and some obviously high production values. The Lady Assassin(s) in question are all charming and easy on the eye but are obviously not trained martial artists, so whilst the fights are quite inventively choreographed and at times portray the mixed loyalties of the characters fighting they are not by any means great.
Terracotta’s DVD provides a detailed and colourful transfer with a full 5.1 soundtrack in its original Vietnamese language with English subtitles. The only extra is the Theatrical Trailer. Whilst this release is Widescreen, I do have an issue with the aspect ratio however, which I think is worth noting for the future. The listed aspect ratio on the box is 2:00:0 which is a half-way house between the theatrical ratios of 1:85:1 and 2:35:1 (full widescreen). I’ve seen a trailer for the movie with an aspect ratio closer to 2:35:1 so it would seem that the picture has been cropped on this release for some reason (I do not know if this is down to Terracotta or the master they were provided with by the film company – I’ve messaged them but received no answer). This is a pity as the visuals are stunning and would definitely benefit from being presented in the original aspect ratio. Sadly, the only other DVD release of this is an Australian one with the same Aspect Ratio listed. That said though, I can’t get heartbroken over this as whilst the movie is a fun diversion, it’s lack of depth and average fight scenes mean it’s not something I’m going to return to very often. In summation, worth a watch but maybe wait for a sale!
the movie is much more serious than the trailer makes believe. buts its fun is good and has a lot of heart !
video quality is AMAZING for a DVD release. this one looks upscaled really strong !
grab a copy , its defintly worth it
It's one of those films where you don't notice the subtitles, you just wholeheartedly enjoy the film. Highly recommended viewing!