DVD RC3 (Codefree DVD-player required), NTSC
Director: Lu Yang
Producer: Ning Hao
Cast: Chang Chen, Mini Yang, Zhang Yi, Lei Jia Yin, King Shih Chieh, Li Yuan, Xin Zhi Lei, Liu Duan Duan
Running time: 120 min
Released: 2017 [China]
Sub-genre: Martial Arts
Audio: Mandarin, Japanese(Part)
Subtitles (removable): English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Features: Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1, dts
Distributor: Panorama [Hong Kong] 2018
In 2014, the wuxia film Brotherhood of Blades starring Chang Chen as a swordsman in the imperial secret police turned into a critical and commercial hit. Three years later, director Lu Yang and Chang Chen return for the prequel Brotherhood of Blades: The Infernal Battlefield. Produced by Ning Hao, the film lives up to its predecessor with its riveting mix of martial arts action, court intrigue and power struggle during the late Ming Dynasty. King Shih Chieh reprises as the notorious power-hungry eunuch Wei Zhongxian, while Mini Yang (Tiny Times) and Zhang Yi (Dearest) join in new roles.
In the Battle of Sarhu in 1619, the Ming army was defeated by insurgent Jin forces. On that infernal battlefield, Shen Lian (Chang Chen), one of the few surviving Ming soldiers, rescues Lu Wenzhao (Zhang Yi) from death. Eight years later, Shen has become a lieutenant in the secret imperial guard under commander Lu. Powerful eunuch Wei Zhongxian orders the assassination of a dissident artist named Bei Zhai, whose paintings Shen happens to collect. Much to Shen's surprise, Bei Zhai turns out to be a young woman (Mini Yang) that he had met before. In the moment, he steps up to save her, accidentally killing his fellow lieutenant in the process. Shen tries to cover up the incident, but a mysterious group of assassins uses the incriminating secret to threaten him into burning the Imperial Archives. On the run from both the imperial guard and the assassins, Shen acquires evidence that points to a conspiracy against the throne.