Swordsman III: The East Is Red
- 1h 38min
A royal official accompanies a Portuguese warship to the Black Cliffs to see the site of the defeat of the evil Invincible Asia, who attained supernatural abilities by following the sacred s... Read allA royal official accompanies a Portuguese warship to the Black Cliffs to see the site of the defeat of the evil Invincible Asia, who attained supernatural abilities by following the sacred scroll and castrating himself. The official discovers that the Portuguese are actually afte... Read allA royal official accompanies a Portuguese warship to the Black Cliffs to see the site of the defeat of the evil Invincible Asia, who attained supernatural abilities by following the sacred scroll and castrating himself. The official discovers that the Portuguese are actually after the sacred scroll, and then finds Invincible Asia him/herself, who is not actually dead.... Read all
I watched this after watching "Swordman II." I am a huge Brigitte Lin fan, and this movie was made to capitalize on the success of her character, the freaky Master Asia the Invincible. (That is the most pompous name any character has endured. Catchy though, ain't it?) Master Asia, as we learned from "Swordman II," is a man that has become a woman (sort of) as a side effect from studying a sacred martial arts scroll. Pro--Asia can decimate whole armies by making simple hand gestures. Con--Serious gender-bending. You're never really sure what Asia is. He looks and sounds like a woman, but acts like both depending on the situation. For example, in "Swordman II" he developed an unfortunate crush on Jet Li's character. In this film, we are treated to a confusing sex scene. I must elaborate on this one, because it deserves the attention. Bear with me.
Snow, a former lover of Asia's, has decided to carry on the tradition by dressing up as Asia and killing people. One night she/he decides to sleep with a concubine that we would assume is a woman. So that's two women--something is missing. This isn't the sort of thing shown in this type of movie, so you automatically wonder what's up. This movie must have some ulterior motive in showing two women making love. Anyway, they start by indulging in some opium to heighten the mood, I suppose, and all of a sudden we are whooshed (for lack of a better word) into a flashback. Now we have Snow and some person kissing. There is no warning that there's been a time shift--it just happens. The other person is Asia himself of course, played by Brigitte Lin. So, if you're keeping score, that a sex scene with three women. One is a woman pretending to be a man, one is a man pretending to be a woman, and one is a man that is becoming a woman. Confused? Good--you'll be in that bewildered state for the rest of the movie.
This movie defines the phrase "over the top." You know you're in for a wild ride when people start using cannons as hand-held weapons. (The guy just picks it up and fires it off, just like a regular cannon, only he's holding it like a battering ram. That would knock the bewhickers out of any normal person, you know.) Another great sequence is the ninja that hides by holding a fake moon up in front of the real one and hiding behind it. Upon his being discovered, a pigeon flies out of his mouth. Brigitte Lin enters one scene riding a swordfish, sings a song while disguised as a lethal gambling prostitute in a Japanese camp and later appears as a samurai dressed in red. Sewing needles are common weaponry to those endowed with supernatural wonderfulness, and people are used as bloody marionettes. (Devil May Cry, anyone?) This movie is everywhere all the time. I was constantly floored by the sheer insanity of it. Add a large volume of blood and the needle on the weirdo meter goes wild.
In short, I enjoyed this movie, simply because of its marvelous ability to entertain. You may not be awed by the scenery, or moved by the plot, but you should be entertained.
- Dec 13, 2004