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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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A Sword Named Revenge (1981) Directed by: Lee Ga

Well shot and atmospheric Wuxia that taps into the tradition of a plot containing multiple characters, twists, hidden agendas and you need to be accustomed (and certainly a bit forgiving) to this storytelling in order to give A Sword Named Revenge a felt pat on the back. With a main character disappearing into madness, a dreamy and sometimes bizarre nature resides in the flick, the impotent dwarf chief among the bizarre aspects. All while the usual supremacy of the martial arts world is on top of the agenda of many, many characters. Possessing a technical polish and standard but enjoyable Wuxia techniques (otherwise the action is often quite slow), A Sword Named Revenge is overlong material that can be endured. It's also serious dedication wasted thanks to the usual muddled storytelling.

The Sword Of Justice (1980) Directed by: Hui Sing-Yue

You make an agreement with yourself that terrific atmosphere and way above average swordplay is more than enough even if there's little coherency. Oh sure main character Lung San Lung on his revenge rampage in the martial world has his agenda but mostly the action team stages a parade of inventive and fast fights. Wisely restricting the scope and bringing in character drama concerning the futility of the violent world, there's even COHERENT, affecting train of thoughts put forth during and in between a furious 2 on 1 ending. All within a world where you become desensitized through killing and power.

The Sword Of Many Loves (1993) Directed by: Poon Man-Kit

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Finally something by the Mak Brothers and director Poon Man-Kit that ISN'T a gangster epic taking us through the political changes of Hong Kong as a particular character rises through the ranks. No, The Sword Of Many Loves jumps on the 90s Wuxia wagon and although a bit too long, its above average production values, creativity and star chemistry gets the filmmakers a long way. Structured around the love triangle between swordsman Wu Fei (Leon Lai), kung fu fighter Purple Yuen (Sharla Cheung) and witch Ching (Michalle Reis), in between you also have some personal revenge, dynasty- and clan feuds... probably. The story outside of the trio isn't even half as interesting but the stars do interact rather well while Poon Man-Kit gives us some wicked, mad sights. Ranging from the scorpion eating dwarf to Ching's various, creative ways of poisoning people (faces get fatter, butts get fatter etc via her various tricks), the movie doesn't go particularly broad either (despite mentioned poison effects) when the love triangle goes into the feud territory we expect. The ladies look incredible, Leon Lai is suitably dopey as he tries to decide which one to truly pursue and the high flying action (by Yuen Cheung-Yan and Ma Yuk-Sing) is high on energy and excitement (in particular the sandstorm finale). It's not the second coming of the genre from the time but a lot more ambition translates into engagement by the cast and viewer. Elvis Tsui plays the main villain.

The Swordsman Of All Swordsmen (1968) Directed by: Joseph Kuo

While not 100% certain on this, The Swordsman Of All Swordsmen is at least Joseph Kuo's big breakthrough in the Wuxia genre 10 years into his directorial career. As with subsequent efforts the next year such as King Of Kings, via this film Kuo joins the ranks of King Hu and Chang Cheh as thoughtful, stylish storytellers in combination with conveyers of exciting, creative action. Swordsman Tsai Ying-Chieh (Tin Yau) is on a killing spree in the name of revenge. Having witnessed his family being killed, no one and nothing will stand in his way. Meeting the mysterious Black Dragon, who wants a piece of the notorious swordsman, and swordswoman Swallow (Polly Kuan), it's the latter that tries to talk Tsai out of pursuing violent revenge. Even after being nursed to health by Swallow, Tsai is hellbent on getting the last one on his list...

Without breaking new ground, Joseph Kuo translates Tyrone Hsu's intelligent script well. It's straightforward revenge stuff that is intercepted by common but human questions about the notion of revenge. Is there something valid in bloodthirst and can you re-evalutate along the way in order to possibly achieve growth as a swordsman in a very violent world? With marvellous cinematography and a violent edge to the action, Kuo and crew essentially creates sword-brawls that brings the intensity up a considerable notch. The experimenting with undercranking isn't always successful though but The Swordsman Of All Swordsmen is still a classic piece of Wuxia CINEMA that manages to pack valid depth (minus points for a tad too much melodramatic acting though) in a short package.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Sworn Brothers (1987) Directed by: David Lai

A classic scenario of two childhood friends (Andy Lau & Cheung Kwok Keung) on opposite sides of the law but bound by loyalty to each other becomes a starting point for David Lai (Saviour Of The Soul, Runaway Blues) to excise some really, really dark inner demons that takes form in the shape of extreme brutal violence (supervised by Sammo Hung). Sworn Brothers is no film school example of storytelling but packs not only the punch on a violent level but fairly emotionally as well. Much due to Andy Lau's very competent and relaxed performance, a bit of a rarity at this point in his career. Melodrama goes way too high however and not all viewers may find the unsympathetic nature to characters worthy of their time but Sworn Brothers is exhilarating in its expert execution of violence. In a twisted way, that's enough. Siu Hung Mooi, Chin Ka-Lok, Eddy Ko and Bill Tung also appear.

An alternate ending was shot for the Mainland market and once available on the dvd release from WA.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

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