Based on a Japanese folk legend that echoes the tale of Robin Hood, this ninja thriller follows the exploits of Goemon Ishikawa (Yôsuke Eguchi), who leaves his fighting clan after its chief... See full summary »
The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.
The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision corner with his older brother.
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This is a very interesting and different martial arts movie. Not revolutionary, per se, but it's innovative, exciting, and an original. I admit, with a title like Wu Xia, which means Martial Hero, I've a preconceived notion of the way plot lines should be unfolded. However, it doesn't follow the tried and true formula and even though I was entertained, I felt a little let down, at the beginning. The first half of the movie is basically CSI, China, Ching Dynasty. I thought it's pretty funny but it lacks a certain epic and mystical quality that good martial arts movies have. Then the second half of the movie complements the first half beautifully; it becomes more like a traditional martial arts movie. But what it lacks in innovation more than made up by the heart-pounding action set pieces. The movie is beautifully filmed, with unusual composition and gorgeous color. The score is unorthodox as well, it's almost like a rock score but not so modern that it becomes incongruous with old China. One small quibble, the stunt people are too easily spotted on many of the death defying scenes. All in all, highly recommended.
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