When you get sick of academics pinning everything that doesn't neatly fit into some neutered utopian post-gender egalitarian view of the world with some new -ism, there's always old John Woo. Even this early martial arts attempt of his is full of broad, simple themes of brotherhood, honor, betrayal, etc. that are morally unambiguous & sentimental and therefore unpopular with the "intellectuals", but ultimately that can be the most honest storytelling language.
The film suffers a bit from the usual over-mythologizing and exaggeration that can make wuxias come off as a bit hokey (this is a fairly early example of perhaps-too-powerful heroes trading one-liners as they effortlessly plow through goons), but Woo's typically broad-yet-convincing characterizing makes up for it. A solid film that more than hints at the "heroic bloodshed" thing that would later continue the spirit of this stuff.
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