After failing to save his wife from 'The Doctor', Kit Li is working as a bodyguard and secret stunt double for the cowardly martial arts film star Frankie Lane. Frankie attends an ... See full summary »
A wild and rollicking martial arts fantasy extravaganza that features prized swords -- and swordsmen, a crazy monk attached to a rolling boulder (yup!), serious clan and cult rivalries, and... See full summary »
An undercover cop struggling to provide for his son and ailing wife, must infiltrate a ruthless gang. But things turn sour when another cop blows his cover and he quickly finds himself battling for his life and the lives of his family.
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 young father and his infant son are beset by forces of evil and corruption. They wander China, upholding their sense of honor and protecting the weak. When they are forced into combat, ... See full summary »
The story is set in both Hong Kong and the U.S. So goes to the U.S. to open a martial arts school. Around this time, many Chinese people were sold off to U.S. railroad companies, and were ... See full summary »
A corrupt businessman commits a murder and the only witness is the girlfriend of another businessman with close connections to the Chinese government, so a bodyguard from Beijing is ... See full summary »
In the sequel to the Tsui Hark classic, Wong Fei-Hung faces The White Lotus society, a fanatical cult seeking to drive the Europeans out of China through violence, even attacking Chinese ... See full summary »
Two rivaling families live on opposite sides of a river. One of them practices Shaolin kung fu and has only sons, while the other has only daughters and practices the Wu-Tang sword. The ... See full summary »
DR. WAI IN "THE SCRIPTURE WITH NO WORDS" (Mao Xian Wang)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Anamorphic)
Sound format: Dolby Digital
A huge disappointment from director Tony Ching (DUEL TO THE DEATH, "A Chinese Ghost Story"), this lumbering would-be spectacular - conceived as a light-hearted riff on the Indiana Jones subgenre - finds paperback author Jet Li ploughing all of his frustrations from a crumbling marriage to Rosamund Kwan into a work of fiction where his brave alter ego (a 1930's soldier of fortune, also played by Li) seeks a magical scripture and is thwarted at every turn by a villainous seductress (also Kwan) and her evil cohorts.
The half-hearted script (by Szeto Cheuk-hon, Sandy Shaw and Lam Wai-lun) lurches from one overblown set-piece to another in search of a worthwhile narrative, combining lackluster comedy and predictable action scenes in a failed attempt at a modern epic. However, the combat sequences - choreographed by Ching himself, aided and abetted by Ma Yuk-sing (CAT AND MOUSE) - are staged with typical cinematic bravado, but the formula is wearing a little thin, and the intrusive comic asides serve only to drain tension from the various confrontations between Good and Evil. Stunningly photographed in an uncredited scope format by veteran cinematographer Tom Lau (DRAGON INN, THE EAST IS RED), the film conjures a vivid period atmosphere, and there's a couple of outstanding set-pieces - including a spectacular train crash; Li's encounter with a couple of Sumo wrestlers (don't ask!); and the final showdown with villain Billy Chow - though the climactic visual effects are poor by western standards. Li and Kwan, reunited from their successful teaming in the ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA series, are attractive and lively, while Takeshi Kaneshiro (CHUNG KING EXPRESS) and Charlie Yeung (FALLEN ANGELS) are largely wasted in routine supporting roles.
Plagued by budgetary problems following a disastrous fire which destroyed $HK10 million worth of sets, producers sought to bolster the film's international fortunes by hiring Tsui Hark to direct additional footage for a re-edited export version which drops the modern day sequences and rearranges the narrative in linear fashion. It doesn't help much, but the filmmakers at least deserve points for trying.
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