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This is how you do an epic battle sequence correctly
The narrator explains the political and social problems of the times as we see waves crash over the rocks. Jimmy walks alone to the city gate. The people are packing up and leaving. Some want to stay and fight but it seems hopeless. The Japanese are already there and demanding a ransom to spare the city.
Jimmy only needs one chopstick to kill one of the Japanese. He scratches his nose with the other then draws his sword to kill all the others except Shan Mao who flees.
Fabulous opening fight sequence. I consider this the best opening fight sequence of any martial arts movie up until 7/13/1973 the date of this movie's release.
This movie is famous for the lengthy battle sequence and has the record for the longest uninterrupted fight. Jimmy got it right by using a variety of weapons, plus props and other parts of the set manipulated into the fights. A battle this long has to be like a roller coaster ride or else it gets repetitive and boring. Like a roller coaster means twists and turns, speed up and slow down, left and right and every direction incessantly. Jimmy and the action directors got it just right here for an unforgettable and possibly unbeatable feature fight.
Is there anything to criticize about it? The fight sequence with the men using woven rattan shields and swords could have been choreographed better. It did not come across as effective or realistic but more as flashy acrobatics. This is a legitimate fighting style including the forward rolls. The Grand Master of All Martial arts Movie - Sifu Chia Liu-Liang- used these fighters and their techniques in a few Shaw Brothers movies and did it more realistically as to the fighting impact. My only other complaint was the flashy and blinding special effect in the last sword fight. I felt it was just not needed and added only a hokey element to it.
I rate this movie as one of the best martial arts movies of all times. My recommendation is meaningless as anyone who knows anything about this genre already knows about this movie.
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