Blood Letter (2011)
Director: Victor Vu ; Screenplay: Victor Vu, Bui Anh Tan
Cast: Huynh Dong, Van Trang, Midu, Khuong Ngoc, Minh Thuan
As far as first efforts go, this is a good entry into the historical Wu Xia (or perhaps a more appropriate word is kiem hiep, Vietnamese for sword fighting) genre from Vietnam. The fighting is decent, not necessarily fast but fairly convincing. Some fights do look obviously choreographed with the odd hit sort of missing yet doing uber damage. There is a bit too much slow-mo also but at least the action is framed well and not obscured with silly camera angles.
I would say that the comedic interactions between the male and female leads are what end up being the most enjoyable. The female lead is particularly feisty with and without a sword. The villains are fine and get the job done.
The story is typical and nothing special but provides the motivation for both protagonists and doesn’t get in the way of the action. The opening scenes show some majestically beautiful scenery framed along the edges with mountains covered in greenery surrounding the river. There is also a nasty villain who puts up a good final fight. Unfortunately the ending is somewhat tainted by extremely bad timing of emotional confessions that will induce unintentional laughter in savvy film goers. Blood Letter is not a must-see but you could do far worse.