A film approaching epic status - and with a little better cinematography, it would surely have made it. As it stands, it is still a marvelous martial arts story on a grand scale, about three corrupt kings and the one swordsman who can bring them down, but who suffers from grief for his murdered family, alcoholism, and blindness.
The craftsmanship is solid, the performances all very charismatic. the film is steeped in Chinese culture, and glows warmly with its humanism. The pace is fairly rapid, political intrigues are never allowed to get talky, yet remind us of the historical implicates of the tale. There are enough twists to pulls us along the story-line, and not too many that we get confused. The story is solidly anchored in its blind-swordsman and his beggar-acrobat sidekick, who also provides us with comic relief.
And there is plenty of swordplay-kung-fu, brilliantly - and believably - choreographed, with very little wire-works.
Very entertaining film that is among the best of its genre, and could have transcended it with just a little extra thought and effort in its cinematography. Highly recommended.
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