Hong Kong cinema giants Derek Yee and Tsui Hark join forces in this 3D martial arts epic, about an elite swordsman who is haunted by his skill, and a challenger who aims to take his place at all costs.
During the warlords era in China, a village located in rural area called Pucheng fell into dangerous situation when its government allocated all its military force to the front line, the ... See full summary »
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung,
Tin Chiu Hung,
The Third Master (Erh Tung Sheng, aka Derek Yee, in the role that launched his career) is considered to be the greatest sword master of the day. His displays of skill and strength bring ... See full summary »
Inspired by the true story known as the Mekong Massacre--two Chinese commercial vessels are ambushed while traveling down the Mekong River in the waters of the Golden Triangle, one of the largest drug-manufacturing regions in the world. 13 sailors are executed at gunpoint, and 900,000 methamphetamine pills are recovered at the scene. Upon discovery, the Chinese government immediately sends a band... See full summary »
Picking up some time after the events in the first movie, Sean Lau is now the Commissioner of Police after the successful rescue operation. However, things turn bad when his wife and ... See full summary »
Lok Man Leung,
Tony Ka Fai Leung,
Hong Kong cinema giants Derek Yee (TRIPLE TAP) and Tsui Hark (YOUNG DETECTIVE DEE) join forces in this spellbinding martial arts epic about an elite swordsman who is haunted by his deadly skills, and the challenger who aims to take his place at any cost.
Wu xia revival flick with many strengths but some obvious flaws
Sword Master is a typical example for the new wave of wu xia cinema. The costumes are colourful, the landscapes are breathtaking and the fight sequences are quite spectacular on the positive side. On the negative side, the special effects are exaggerated and overused, the story is developed in a confusing way with numerous flashbacks to hide the fact that the scenario is rather ordinary and the movie doesn't have the magic pioneer vibe of the original version called Death Duel in particular and the first wave of wu xia movies in general.
There are three elements that make Sword Master stand out and put it on a slightly above average level if compared to other contemporary wu xia flicks. The first twenty minutes of the movie are quite entertaining and feature interesting character developments, ferocious fights and stunning settings. The movie then quickly becomes exchangeable, predictable and shallow but its first impression is very positive. As a second element, the acting performances are rather positive even though they aren't outstanding or even moving. The different characters are credible and the actors and actresses rarely overact. Aside of one silly character who only has a minor role, the movie also avoids adding silly slapstick elements that wouldn't fit in. Finally, the movie has a great soundtrack that unites traditional folk instruments, classical music and a few modern sounds in a highly diversified and always appropriate way. The soundtrack manages to add more emotions to the different key scenes of this film.
Fans of traditional Chinese action cinema will surely be entertained by this movie even though it can't compete with the best genre flicks of the seventies and eighties. Those who aren't familiar with the wu xia genre should not start with this film though and discover the original films first. I was entertained very well and would watch this movie again in a few years.
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