Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Swordsman A.K.A. Swordsman (1990)

A Chinese wuxia directed by King Hu, Ching Siu-tung, Ann Hui, Andrew Kam and Tsui Hark, starring Cecilia Yip and Sharla Cheung.
An important manuscript scroll has been stolen from a government administration building. The leader finds the house of the man who took it and posts guards, preparing to kill the thief. The thief also has guards, but inside the house with him. As the standoff tension rises, a pair of messengers burst in and accidentally cause the house to explode. They flee the scene with one of the other participants and stow away on a boat, where they meet this man's friend. The two old men perform a song and after the ship is destroyed in an attack, escape with the messengers. The old men are mortally wounded and pass their instruments and song to the messengers. The search for the missing scroll continues with plots of intrigue, lies and deception.
Pretty nice. The plot was a little too much for me, but that's pretty standard in most wuxia films. Obviously, we've got tons of characters too and I was unable to keep track of who was on what side and who was lying. The video looked VERY early '90s wuxia (that's a good thing). This included lots of fast paced editing in fight scenes and blue-lit night scenes. All of the lighting was excellent. It seemed correct for the scenes and I could see everything that was happening. There were lots of special effects. This was mostly flying characters, projectile weapons of exaggerated power and break-away sets. The soundtrack was good and I liked the plot song, but knew that the actors were not actually playing their instruments. Overall, I liked the flying fights, but would have liked a simpler plot. I rate this adequate. This is only for the most hardcore wuxia fans.

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