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A Man Called Hero (1999)
"Jung wa ying hong" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  17 July 1999 (Hong Kong)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,445 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 22 critic

Episodic saga from the first half of the 20th century follows Hero Hua from an ill-omened June day in his youth to a showdown 17 years later with a disaffected member of his martial-arts ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Andrew Lau)

Writers:

(original story) (as Wing Shing Ma) , (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Hero Hua
...
Mu (as Qui Shu)
Kristy Yang ...
Jade
...
Sword Hua (as Nic Tse)
Biao Yuen ...
Boss
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jordan Chan ...
(voice)
Mark Cheng
Dion Lam ...
Shadow (as Dik-on Lam)
Jerry Lamb ...
(as Hiu-fung Lam)
Sam Lee
Ken Lo ...
Monk Luohan
Chi Hung Ng
Francis Ng ...
Invincible (as Chun-yu Ng)
...
Bull
Edit

Storyline

Episodic saga from the first half of the 20th century follows Hero Hua from an ill-omened June day in his youth to a showdown 17 years later with a disaffected member of his martial-arts school, a Japanese named Invincible. Tensions between Chinese and Japanese, plus U.S. racism, mark the tale. Hero marries Jade, leaves her in China when he goes to America as an indentured servant, rebels against cruel labor conditions, and is joined by her in New York City where she has twins. Jump ahead 16 years: their son Sword comes to New York looking for his father. There, Sword hears many stories of his father, which we see in flashbacks, and the stage is set for the battle with Invincible. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 July 1999 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

A Man Called Hero  »

Box Office

Gross:

SGD 1,692,670 (Singapore) (20 August 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the comic of the same name (english translations called "Blood Sword") by Ma Wing Shing. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Tricky Master (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
You'll believe a martial artist can fly!
23 May 2004 | by (Phoenix, AZ) – See all my reviews

While I've been a longtime fan of the Woo-influenced Hong Kong action pics and I've been any even longertime (is there such a word?) fan samurai films, I've had a dubious love/hate affair with the more traditional 'martial arts' films where would-be superheroes dance on air whilst wiggling and waggling their magical swords to dice and slice the villains. I've loved CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, and I've meddled with THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR. I don't know. Something about traditional martial arts films have seemed to extremist entertainment to me ... but then AZN Films recommended A MAN CALLED HERO and I find myself in a curious predicament: I'm hooked.

I won't go into a massive rehash of the plot b/c the film does suffer a bit from some of the hallmarks of Hong Kong cinema: there's far too much story to be told in two hours, but, somehow, it all manages to fit together. There are a few plot points (Sword Hua's search for his sister, Hero's love-hate relationship with the Elements, Shadow's real intentions, etc.) that don't get enough screen time -- surprisingly -- but sacrifices were made, and what's left for the story is more than enough to chew.

This film is dazzling to watch, and I think it so for a variety of reasons. It takes the traditional martial arts formula of the mystical hero, and it turns the film upside down to avoid going overboard in every way possible. Also, it strives to be much more of a contemporary 'period piece' -- set in what one could guess is America, circa 1920/1930 (I honestly don't remember that a date was mentioned) ... a creative choice that does give the principal characters far more of a 'superhero' feel and less of battling martial artists. That and EVERYTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE WRITTEN ABOUT THE FILM'S CLIMAX ON THE STATUE OF LIBERTY MUST BE BELIEVED! While there are a few parts of the Statue's final battle that are hard to swallow, it's easy to look the other way and just be dazzled in the way many other blockbuster films have tried to do.

A MAN CALLED HERO (not to be confused with Jet Li's HERO) is a remarkable find, and it's a remarkable piece of work from a man called Andrew Lau.

This is a definite owner. While parts of it are more guilty pleasure than anything else, A MAN CALLED HERO is wonderfully entertaining and even manages to tug on a few heartstrings along the way.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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