Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wuxia film review: Swordsman (1990) Directed by ????

The Swordsman

I had not seen the swordsman movies in over a decade. Since I first watched them I became a huge fan of King Hu who was credited as co-director of this movie. The reality is not a minute of this movie looks like a King Hu movie.

King Hu is the closest thing Hong Kong has to Kurasawa. He was the most artistic director of martial arts/ Wuxia movies of the 60’s/70’s. His film A Touch of Zen is classic considered to be the biggest influence on Crouching Tiger hidden dragon and other art-house Wuxia movies.

His films Come Drink with Me, Dragon Gate Inn and The Valiant Ones are excellent films built on characters, quiet tension and building suspense. Swordsman is not a bad movie per se but it has none of the nuance that his films are known for.

The film ended up with three credits at director. It looked more like Producer Tusi Hark or fight director Ching Siu Tung. The story is a total mess. It has fun moments. The story is based on a Louis Cha novel about the martial world fighting over secret scrolls. The second film added Jet Li and re-told the same story with only Ching Siu Tung. I remember it being less of mess.

This is for serious Wuxia fans only.

No comments: