Heavenly Sword (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Action
Director: Gun Ho Jang
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 85 minutes

Heavenly Sword (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Story has potential, Great for fans of the original game
Bad: A bit lacking in content for those who haven't played the original game
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Heavenly Sword was an amazing videogame released in 2007 on the previous generation. Whilst this gem never received a sequel, it was still very much alive in the minds and hearts of many gamers and thus this movie adaptation saw the light in 2014. Even though the movie might have fallen a bit into the abyss in many countries, we still had the chance to take a closer look at this fantasy adventure tale, where heaven goes hand in hand with a cursed existence.


Nariko (Anna Torv) hasn’t had the most pleasant life, as she is shunned by the rest of her village because everyone thinks she is cursed. Even her father, master Shen (Nolan North), is ashamed for his own daughter, seeing he hoped to have a son, rather than a daughter. Master Shen was charged with protecting the Heavenly Sword, a weapon that could turn the tide of any battle, if it is wielded by the chosen one. Sadly, Nariko has been seen as a bad omen, because Shen’s first child was not a son, who would be the so called protector of good. Luckily, the disrespected woman still has Kai (Ashleigh Ball), a simpleminded girl who perhaps is equally shunned as Nariko.

Even though life is hard on Nariko, she still honors her family and her ‘village’ and puts them first in the face of danger. When the self-proclaimed emperor Bohan (Alfred Molina) raids their village, Nariko is charged with the mission of protecting the Heavenly Sword, to find the chosen one. This means she will have to leave her family and kinsmen behind in the clutches of the evil Bohan and make a run for it. This arduous trip will certainly be filled with danger and death everywhere she treads. At least, if the cursed sword does not kill our heroine first, as it drains the life force of the one who wields it.

Before we dig into the flow of the story, we can easily say that this movie will be for the fans of the original game. Undoubtedly casual gamers and/or fans of computer animated movies will certainly be able to get some enjoyment from Heavenly Sword, but the story proves to be quite vague to be fully understood by those who haven’t played the PlayStation 3 game. The overall story content is a bit on the low side, while the action sequences keep on coming one after another. This makes the movie feel a bit more like an actual game, where you’ll have to battle all of the evil forces, but it will also push the story, which does have a lot of potential, to the background.


As mentioned above, the flow is quite rapid, as the movie tries to squeeze in as many combat scenes as possible. With the limited runtime of 85 minutes, this might feel overwhelming to some, because the movie seems to be one big grim battle that no one seems to be able to win.

Heavenly Sword might not look as spiffy as certain game cinematics, but it certainly looks quite great. The characters prove to be detailed and move in a lifelike fashion. The only mishap seems to be the facial expressions and the sometimes fairly empty environments the many warriors find themselves in. That being said, for a movie that runs on a game engine, the creators (or should we say developers?) did a great job in making a very nice looking feature film.

The quality of the voice acting is decent, but it is a sad truth that the sometimes strong emotions are not portrayed in the right fashion, due to the lack of facial expressions of the characters. Luckily this is not always the case and the cast actually does a commendable job.

Another thing that is commendable is the overall grim atmosphere the movie tends to project. The life of one charged to protect a legendary weapon is not an easy one and probably filled with danger, seeing everyone would want to claim the relic as their own. This is something that is well portrayed, not only by the story but also with the dark colors that are used throughout the movie. The lack of any true vibrant tones makes the movie a lot heaver, which works perfectly fine.



Even though the score might not be that high, we’re sure that fans of the game will get a kick out of this movie adaptation of Heavenly Sword. The actions scenes prove to be quite amusing, even in the overly grim world that houses the heroine. Nonetheless, those who have no affinity with the game might better steer clear of this title or consider it as a title to watch when you wish to learn a tiny bit more about the game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Heavenly Sword (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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