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Film / Sword of the Assassin

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A 2012 Vietnamese film starring Huynh Dong as Nguyen Vu and Midu as Hoa Xuan. 12 years ago, Nguyen Vu's entire family are killed due to claims that they were complicit in the murder of the King of Vietnam. Upon learning this, Vu sets out to not only clear his family's sullied name, but also take revenge on the empress whom he believes is the true mastermind.

Despite being Vietnamese, it owes a lot to Chinese wuxia movies, in terms of plot, cinematography, and choreography.


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This Film Contains Examples of:

  • All Monks Know Kung-Fu: Vu's master is even more skilled than Vu.
  • Big Bad Friend: Turns out that Vu's childhood friend Vuong Gia wasn't much better than Thai Hau, and planned on murdering everyone in the royal family to gain power for himself.
  • Blood Knight: Tran Tong Quan, The Brute is clearly enjoying himself even as he's taking a lot of damage.
  • Co-Dragons: The empress has two dragons, one assassin as The Brute and one mandarin as The Evil Genius.
  • Cycle of Revenge: A major theme of the movie. Hua Xuan's sister, Hua Ha realized this and gave up her dream of killing Thai Hau.
  • Eunuchs Are Evil: Averted. The blood letter is written by the king's "most reliable eunuch" and carries a great deal of weight. However, the empress tries to claim that he was an untrustworthy liar and enemy, thus anything he said should be disregarded.
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  • Hold the Line: Hua Ha holds off the attackers when they come for her sister. She dies offscreen.
  • Kamehamehadoken: The ultimate technique of Vu's master, he uses it to put the animated fu-dog statue in its place. Vu eventually masters it and uses it to kill The Dragon.
  • Karma Houdini: Thai Hau's punishment for her numerous crimes (including ordering four massacres on-screen and murdering the king) are... a talking to and bad dreams. And Vu also winds up actually doing her a service by getting rid of multiple people gunning for the throne and giving her the most dangerous weapon against her.
  • Last of His Kind: Vu is the last descendant of the Nguyen clan; everyone else was slaughtered to cover up the murder of the king.
  • MacGuffin: The blood letter that supposedly has the power to unseat the empress.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Vu always wears one. Even in formal clothes, he wears a fancier one.
  • Simple Staff: Vu's weapon of choice. Fitting, as he was raised on a temple by a monk.
  • Wuxia: A Vietnamese movie, but the plot, leaps, and fight scenes are straight out of a wuxia movie.
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