The Guillotines (2012) Movie Review

The Guillotines posterThe Guillotines

  • Rating – R
  • December 2012
  • Director – Wai-keung Lau
  • Xiaoming Huang – Wolf
  • Ethan Juan – Leng
  • Purba Rgyal – Chentai
  • Tian Gao – Hutu
  • Yuchun Li – Musen


Want to Be Part of the Team

When I heard about this film, I got excited. You see, back in the 70’s there was a Kung fu movie called Master of the Flying Guillotine, where the main bad guy kills people by chopping off their heads with a hat like weapon. Kung fu and heads being chopped off…what’s not to like. Then the trailer came out, and it looked like the weapon got update with CGI and the film makers decided to mix in a little Chinese war epic. Then I imaged a bunch of assassins with flying sickles Kung fuing (yes, it’s a word I just made up) it up in war scenarios, and made a mental note that I needed to watch this. Is it going to be Guillotinetastic? Just a FYI, this story line doesn’t have any thing to do with Master of the Flying Guillotine.


You’re One of Us

We start off in the Qing Dynasty, where the Emperor, Yongzhen (Wai-Keung Lau) created an special assassin group named the Guillotines. Currently the Guillotines are on a mission to capture a wanted man called the Wolf (Xiaoming Huang). Once captured the Guillotines bring him in. While transferring him, the Wolf’s men come and break him free. The Guillotines try to stop them, but one of their own, Mu (Li Yuchun) gets taken hostage. Will the Guillotines be able to rescue Mu? Will they be able get Wolf back into custody?

Wolf's village being attacked
Kill Me After You Recover

Aaaaa…..where to start? The first 10 minutes were good and then the film went completely down in flames. You only see the Guillotines fight in two scenes in the beginning and then it becomes a boring, cliche, and easily forgettable Chinese war drama. The Guillotines are introduced as unstoppable assassins and then you stop caring about them. You never see them fight again after the first 10 minutes and they just end up crying a lot. Even when they do start dying off, they die meaningless deaths. No going out in a blaze glory or emotions in their deaths.

The story feels like a page out of Last Samurai. The whole enemy is not my real enemy and the guns vs swords theme. It’s nothing new introduced or executed well. Just a lot of talking and predictability. No tension build up. I felt they could have used the Guillotines to spice things up especially since such a promising beginning, but it just became a missed opportunity. I’ve read that there were actually six writers on this film, which might have been the problem.

The scenery and costumes are beautiful…did I mention the first 10 minutes were good?

Flying guillotine
Why Don’t You Just Kill Me

Watching the Guillotines is like the first day of college. A waste of time. Just watch the trailer and move on. What ever you see in trailer is all the good parts. Avoid at all costs. It’s just a boring and forgettable war drama with no action.

Random Info I got from this File:
  • Guillotines have a lot gears
Other Files to check:
  • Hero
  • The Last Samurai
  • Shinobi
File Status: 3 out of 10
Roach on EmailRoach on FacebookRoach on Twitter
Graphic designer by day, and movie blogger whenever I can. Been watching films in the 80s and never lost the love for it. Started Movie Case Files in 2012, and kept writing random reviews ever since. Besides movies, I like watching UFC, collecting retro video games, spending time with the wife, and bacon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *