Heavenly Sword is an animated film (I did not realize that when we first picked it out—but that’s okay, animated films are fine) set in ancient Japan (or, at least, that’s how it appeared to me). The main character is a young woman named Nariko (voice by Anna Torv). She has a compatriot (her sister) named Kai (Ashleigh Ball). The movie is based on the computer game of the same name. I’ve never played the game, so I can’t really comment on it. The movie had the feel of a computer game. It was almost like watching someone else play a computer game. Although if that is the case, the individual playing has the skill to complete it.
Anyway, the basic plot is …. hmmm, where to begin? Nariko’s family has guarded the Heavenly Sword for untold years. The Heavenly Sword is the weapon of a deity who wielded the blade to defeat an ancient, powerful enemy centuries ago. Then the deity disappeared. There is a prophecy that one day the Chosen One will be born to Nariko’s family and will wield the Heavenly Sword once again. Nariko is that child. Well, almost. She’s born at the right time and place—the first child of her father—but she’s a girl. Believing that only a boy can be the Chosen One, her father all but ignores her growing up and does little to train her. Then one day an evil king arrives at the family’s fortress with an army behind him. Soon, the fortress is in ruins and Nariko is fleeing across the countryside with the Heavenly Sword in tow, desperately searching for the true Chosen One, presumably her half-brother.
Strengths: the action was good; the plot was engaging; the dialogue was interesting. There were a few cliches, but that’s fine. Like I said, it had the feel of a computer game. It was a good way to spend about an hour and a half if you are looking for some mindless violence and chaos … all for fun, of course. Weaknesses: like I said, there were a couple cliches. But other than that, I don’t recall any major weakness in the storyline or the characters. Well, it might not be appropriate for very young children because Nariko’s father, after her birth, slept with (and sometimes raped) numerous other women in the hopes of begetting a son. But that all happens off-screen in the past.
Anyway, the film was okay for what it’s worth. I’ll give it three and a half stars out of five.