The sensitive swordsman Cho Yi-Hang is tired of his life. He is the unwilling successor to the Wu-Tang clan throne and the unsure commander of the clan's forces in a war against foreign ... See full summary »
Michelle Yip of the Hong Kong police is a mild-mannered Kung Fu expert; Michael Wong from air security is happy-go-lucky, stuck on himself, constantly talking, and smitten by her; Yamamoto ... See full summary »
A simple fisherman helps a fugitive King in a fight, and offers him refuge in a hideout near his fishing village. When the King's group is attacked by his usurper brother, the fisherman is ... See full summary »
With an entirely new set of actors, this movie continues the story from Swordsman (1990). Blademaster and his martial arts school decide to retire to a distant mountain. Before leaving, he ... See full summary »
A parody of Louis Cha's novel The Eagle Shooting Heroes (thats the literal translation). Story begins with the Queen of Golden Wheel Kingdom had an affair with her cousin West Poison, and ... See full summary »
A martial artist/doctor steals from the corrupt authorities as a masked thief to give to the poor while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt him down. But a major threat unites them as a powerful and traitorous shaolin monk takes over the authorities.
Jet Li was a monk in Shaolin. In a friendly competition for a higher place in Shaolin, his childhood friend almost kills a fellow student for using a concealed weapon (which cannot be used ... See full summary »
Don't take the low average here as a sign of mediocrity. Butterfly and Sword is flawed, but the last thing it is is run-of-the-mill. Logic? Coherency? Resolution? Subtlety? What are those? Loose ends dangle majestically in the wind. Characters are introduced, forgotten about for over an hour, and jump back into things at the most convenient time before flying off like superheroes. The villain gives a classic "ha-ha! Now I will explain my genius plan!" speech before biting it. Yes, in many ways this is about as bad as wuxia plots ever got, resembling a soap opera that manages to squeeze some dismemberments, impalements, involuntary face-removals and exploding heads into every 5 or 10 minutes, but that's exactly what I like about it: it epitomizes 90s Hong Kong stupidity and over-the-top lyricism in all the best ways. This is exactly the kind of movie where you don't mind the battles turning into gimmicky wire pageantry where characters slice each other's swords in two and trampoline off branches, because nothing else about it is grounded.
A lot of fun, as long as you accept it for what it is: gory, melodramatic wire-fu pulp. For all its narrative and technical flaws, it's stylistically enchanting, full of color and opulence, and it does a commendable job turning the plot from a novel all about convoluted cloak-and-dagger intrigue into a brisk 80 minute fantasy that makes you raise your arms in disbelief more than it makes you scratch your head. I'll take it over Crouching Tiger or Iron Monkey, because at least this seems to revel in its own weirdness.
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