Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 4th, 2014
Theatrical Release Dates: Vietnam, 2013
Director: Quang Dung Nguyen
Writer: Quang Dung Nguyen
Cast: Tang Thanh Ha, Ngoc Quyên, Diem My, Kim Dung
DVD released: March 10th, 2014
Approximate running time: 89 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Vietnamese
DVD Release: Terracotta Distribution
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £9.32
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.