"He was a wolf with the heart of a lamb. The world, however, is dominated by the wolves."
Arguably the most renowned warrior-general in ancient China, Guan Yu (a.k.a. Guan Yunchang, circa 160-220) is hailed for his unparalleled bravery and military might, and above all his supreme honor and loyalty, such that he is worshipped to this day as a folk deity among the Chinese people. In a film centering on this magnificent historical figure, there is hardly anyone more suitable to play the saintly Lord Guan than Donnie Yen (Ip Man), the hottest martial arts superstar in the world right now. Add to it Jiang Wen, the charismatic star-director of Chinese box-office megahit Let the Bullets Fly, in a powerful performance as the antagonistic warlord Cao Cao, and you've got the most anticipated historical action epic in recent memory.
Under the helm of Infernal Affairs writer-directors Alan Mak and Felix Chong, The Lost Bladesman is a riveting retelling of a chapter in the classical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms where Guan escorts his sworn brother's wives on a dangerous escape from enemy camp. By portraying Guan as a tragic hero, and reinventing Cao as the manipulative but visionary rival leader who, despite clashing ideologies, has the utmost respect and admiration for the noble warrior, the ambitious film offers rich character drama on top of the varied, spectacular fight scenes. Built around Donnie Yen who also serves as action director, the period blockbuster boasts a solid supporting cast that includes Betty Sun, Wang Bo Chieh, Alex Fong Chung Sun, Andy On, Shao Bing, Wang Xuebing, Nie Yuan, and Chin Siu Ho, besides the scene-stealing Jiang Wen.
In the final years of the Eastern Han dynasty, the Prime Minister Cao Cao (Jiang Wen) is so powerful that even the young Emperor (Wang Bo Chieh) is reduced to being his puppet. Still only a fledgling warlord, the Emperor's uncle and future Shu king Liu Bei (Alex Fong) is defeated in a battle by Cao's forces, leaving his sworn brother Guan Yu (Donnie Yen) with the duty to protect Liu's family who is held captive at Cao's camp. With his unwavering devotion to Liu, Guan resists Cao's every attempt at persuading him to join his cause, including a wicked plot exploiting Guan's secret crush on Liu's concubine-to-be Qilan (Betty Sun). Guan eventually sets out on a long and treacherous journey to be reunited with Liu, taking Qilan with him - but someone isn't about to let him walk away so easily! With wave after wave of killers ambushing him en route, Guan Yu is forced to unleash his deadly blade and slaughter his way out...