"14 Blades" boasts an awesome Donnie Yen, a lively visual style and entertaining action sequences, but it's really awkwardly paced thanks to the bloated narrative. Too much wasted screen-time is dedicated to stuff that doesn't really matter.
"Dragon Tiger Gate" enflamed my wrath not because it's terrible (it's not), but because it tricked me into thinking that I would be entertained. The first act is pretty awesome, but just as you let its warmth wash over you, the second act arrives and it's numbingly cold...and then the third act drenches you with piss and semen.
I suppose that instead of criticizing “Kill Zone” for failing to reach its full potential, I should instead focus on how it somehow kept me invested despite sacrificing character development for kung fu, while not having enough kung fu. So I’m going to say that “Kill Zone” is a good movie because of its successes, while its failures keep it from being great.
"Dragon" is the result of what happens if you blend kung fu, a character drama, a police procedural and acupuncture in a single bowl of awesomeness, and then serve it with fine wine and ice cream. The end result? I orgasm all over this meal, ruining it for everyone. Er, wait...Um, I'm going to move on now.
Sometimes the wrong kind of marketing can really sink your movie. I'm not just talking about something like "The Grey" either, where it promises an awesome scene that we never get to see. Sometimes we expect a completely different kind of movie than what we get. Sometimes a romance markets itself as a comedy, sometimes an actioner markets itself as horror and sometimes a melodrama markets itself as a martial arts film. I don't know how "Bodyguards and Assassins" was advertised in Hong Kong, but in the west it presented itself as a martial arts vehicle for Donnie Yen. IT IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT THAT KIND OF MOVIE.