Went to see this (on my own) tonight – one of the most unpleasent films I’ve seen in a while.

Mark – this is a cut…

1) The Emperor’s family is The Emperor, The Empress, Eldest Son, Middle Son, Youngest Son
2) Empress is step mother to children and is roughly their age
3) Middle Son and Empress are having an affair
4) Eldest Son returns from banishment
5) Emperor is slowly poisioning Empress for no well explored reason
6) Middle Son is also sleeping with Royal Doctor’s daughter
7) Empress plans with Eldest Son to kill Emperor and have him take over
8) Middle Son finds out and tells Emperor
9) Middle Son confronts Empress and then tried to kill himslef (to escape the film maybe)
10) Royal Doctor and his family are attacked by Emperor’s men – nice Royal Doctor is killed, mother and daughter run to palace
11) It is revealed that the Doctor’s wife is the Emperor’s ex-wife (and mother of the three boys) who he ditched to marry the Empress who was the daughter of a king
12) Realising she’s been sleeping with her brother lovely Doctor’s daughter runs off and is horribly killed by The Emperor’s men
13) Doctor’s wife chases after her and is also horribly killed by The Emperor’s men
14) Youngest Son suddenly kills Middle Son and demands to become Emperor
15) Emperor beats Youngest Son to death
16) Oldest Son attacks Forbidden City – his entire army slaughtered but not before many innocent soldiers on The Emperor’s side are killed as well
17) Oldest Son is given choice of either feeding poison to Empress every day or being killed horribly – kills himself
18) Empress knocks cup to the ground – it was acid – so even if Oldest Son had fed it to her she would have died anyway
18) The end

How cheery is that! And not one single unarmed fight over 10 seconds in the whole movie!