Pleasing purposeful and taut Swordsplay - movie based on stories by Gu Long, about the supremacy of the Jiang Hu. Third master [ Derek Yee ] is the #1 at the moment , considered as the best sword fighter, but he's tired of his way of life, pretends his death and begins a simple life. Too early for Yen Shi kwan [ Ling Yun ], who aimed the whole life for fame and the answer if he could be the real #1.
Death Duel is a little different from other Gu Long movies directed also by Chu Yuan, no obscure jumble of plot and persons here, it's strictly concentrated oh Third Master and his tries to survive the power struggle, where he's attacked again and again. The then 20yrs old Derek Yee [ now director of movies like ONE NITE IN MONGKOK, VIVA EROTICA, FULL THROTTLE ] does a strong impression, mainly optically and particularly with his mimic, and performs the action sequences well. These are well choreographed, unbloody swordplay with martial arts and jumps varied, there's also good use of the environment Optically the film is rather lyric - magical, many red and blue contrasts, much fog, added a calm, but appropriate score. Really entertaining 90mins.
Movie has some relation to the other Gu Long picturizations like KILLER CLANS and MAGIC BLADE, Ti Lung has a cameo as his Swordsman Fu and Lo Lieh as the killer Han Tang.
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