Forget the expectations the trailer promises of delivering an action classic. It's not. It's a period set drama that has some frantic wire-enhanced action in the latter half.
It's a solid slice of commercial entertainment that's tailormade for the widest audience possible. Director Teddy Chen (Who helmed the great hollywood-esque action film PURPLE STORM) takes his sweet time introducing the huge array of characters and than proceeds to put them all through the action film grinder one by one in the film's frantic real time spanning hour long finale. It's dramatically manipulative stuff, but if you let your preconceptions take a break you'll find yourself enjoying the slow motion deaths and expected over-dramatics.
None of the action is ground-breaking, but in the context of the story it proves to be tense and involving (even if it follows an obvious template once it gets going - hero fights, fails, and has one final heroic moment) My major gripe is that it builds and builds to a final battle that never materializes. Once you realize that all the fighters are down for the count and wonder "What are they going to throw at me yet?" don't hurt yourself figuring it out. They go for the dramatic angle instead of the throw down. It makes sense from a film-making perspective, but I was kind of left wanting. An overall solid crowd pleaser.