Inspired from a famous martial arts tale, a young swordsman becomes obsessed with sword supremacy and challenges another kung fu master, where everything begins.Inspired from a famous martial arts tale, a young swordsman becomes obsessed with sword supremacy and challenges another kung fu master, where everything begins.Inspired from a famous martial arts tale, a young swordsman becomes obsessed with sword supremacy and challenges another kung fu master, where everything begins.
First concerns the sword fights and this movie is mostly sword fights for action. Sword fights (or rather "good sword fights") are uniquely difficult to choreograph and execute in movies. I practice both martial arts swords and fencing. Fencing rarely works for movies and larger blades were some of the first fights ever filmed. It is easy to use the old "I'll raise my sword and you hit it with yours" technique of movie sword fighting. Just add a clever or unexpected move or a difficult move smoothly executed and you have raised the bar. This movie went the Chinese opera route and added acrobatics. Acrobatics can be a great addition to a fight, just look at most of The Venom's fights. In this movies the acrobatics in the fights was totally overdone to the point of distraction.
Second is the lead character. The lead began as somewhat unlikeable and continued to become more and more unlikeable to the point of being more of a villain than the real villains. In plot structure and scripting and character development this never works.
Finally, Shaw Brothers sets of this era were unbeatable by any other studio. Despite the excellent design, lighting and quality of materials in this movie, something just didn't feel right. I felt as if though what I was looking at was nice, it was too contrived and framed and I always knew that a few inches to the right or left of the frame there was nothing but an empty movie studio set.
I can only rate this movie as five out of ten. I realize most of my comments are purely opinion and based on nothing more so your viewing experience might be contradictory. I still recommend it (but only for only fans of the genre) and I hope you enjoyed it more than I did.
- Jul 25, 2016