They could've called this one The Last Guillotine.
It's like The Last Samurai but in China, the Chinese way, with a little oldskool sci-fi weaponry instead of just the sword.
In a way it's strange that such a modern weapon would be replaced with such an old one, by our modern-day knowledge. That the limitations of what at first seemed like the ideal accessory of assassins would so easily be turned against them when the foes had shielded necks. Oh well. I wish they would've prevailed, but they do make the logic work here.
I could've done without some of the special effects, but regarding the rest of it: not disappointed! It had its slow bits, but also emotional bits. Fighting bits. It's a movie you'll remember, even if it's not one I'll watch again for the choreography; action of it all. It's spectacular but not memorable. But for the views. The life. The sacrifice. For the characters, maybe. It had that might and ancient vibe that these movies so often have, and a sad sad finale, but somehow not as sad as I feel like it could have been.
Maybe they missed something with the build-up. Maybe there's something cultural that I don't relate to. But then again maybe it really is worth a four, and I just wasn't in the right mood for it right now. Good movie after all.
rated 3/5: not bad