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Archive for the ‘Jet Li’ Category

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Chang Mo-kei’s parents are the owners of a pair of magical swords and some clans are desperate to get their hands on them. In the process of this struggle, they are forced to commit suicide by rival clan leaders and young Chang Mo-kei is given the Jinx Palm curse which prevents him from being able to practice martial arts. He is taken in by the Wu-Tang clan leader but a young rival manages to cast him out. He is released of his curse by a crazed monk he comes across who is strapped into a rock and teaches him the Great Solar Stance. Chang Mo-kei vows to take revenge on the clan leaders responsible for the death of his parents. Two rival clan sects are also fighting each other for ownership of the 2 magic swords and Chang Mo-kei also sets out to sort this feud out not realizing that it is a ruse by the government led by a woman who looks very much like his dead mother. The government wants to reduce the amount of power that the martial arts clans have. Will Chang Mo-kei be able to deal with everything on his own?

This martial arts fantasy epic which is packed full of spectacular action sequences was supposed to be the first of a 2-part movie series but unfortunately due to it being a flop the 2nd movie was cancelled which is a big shame as I really enjoyed it. You’d think with such a distinguished cast which included Jet Li, Sammo Hung, Chingmy Yau, Richard Ng and Sharla Cheung, this movie should have been a runaway success so I’m not really sure why that wasn’t the case? It leaves the story dangling on a bit of a cliffhanger at the climax of the movie. The story has been adapted from a long running TV series called Dragon Sword & Heaven Sabre and trying to cram around 60 hours of the TV series plot into 90 mins was always going to be a struggle for the scriptwriter. There are apparently 2 Shaw Brothers movies from the 60’s (not sure of the movie’s titles) that more or less follows the plot of this movie and continues with what would taken place in the proposed sequel.

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I think part of the reason why this movie divides so many martial arts fans and didn’t do too well is because of it’s overly complicated plot but thankfully this is balanced out by the wildly choreographed fight sequences which was directed by Sammo Hung. Don’t expect any standard kung-fu antics here as there is a lot of wire involved. It’s fast and frenetic stuff but always great as expected by Sammo. It will take a viewer with a lot of concentration to understand the plot completely from start to finish. I’m sure to many it will make no sense at all but don’t worry because the numerous action sequences that litter the movie will take your mind off the baffling plot. You never have enough time to digest what is going on before another fight or skirmish happens. All the famous martial arts schools you may have heard about is featured in this movie plus some fictional ones thrown in such as the Ming Sect which is depicted as being evil and led by magical people with OTT names as Green Bat (a vampire) and Gold Lion. I’m quite amazed at the rather offensive dialogue that I come across in some Asian movies. In this movie you have 2 cowardly comic characters who disguise themselves as Red Cross workers and jokingly say they are going to rape a woman. I’m not sure how joking about a serious offence as rape can be considered funny.

Jet Li is rather good in the leading role and he is given the very gorgeous Chingmy Yau as his partner in crime and love interest. Always pleasing on the eye, she looks fabulous in her costume but so does Sharla Cheung who pops up in 2 roles in this movie. First as the mother of Jet Li’s character when he’s a child and then as the government official behind the clans fighting each other. Sammo and Richard Ng don’t have that big of a part in this movie.

Despite the convoluted plot, I loved this fantasy movie and thought it was a lot of fun. If you’re into a movie with fast and furious action set-pieces and not that bothered if the plot goes above your head then you may perhaps enjoy this movie. Give it a go and see what you think.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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The Warlords (2007)

This is a period epic in every sense of the word. It covers a lot of ground depicting war and it’s consequences. It tells the story of three “brothers” played brilliantly by Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro who make a pact of brotherhood to one another that consists of killing anyone who harms one of the brothers and killing any brother who harms another brother as they lead an army through war after war taking over city after city. The cinematography is outstanding, the budget is huge, the directing brilliant and the war scenes brutal as can be. The battle scenes didn’t pull any punches either. Blood flies across the screen as limbs roll on the ground. It’s truly fantastic. They are the highlight of the film as the first half seems to not pull away from the battlefield. The film is also extremely colorful. Every scene is stunningly vibrant. There are so many memorable scenes from the film and half of that is due to how they were shot. The Warlords is one of the best Chinese war epics I’ve ever seen.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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Also known as The Enforcer. Excellent Jet Li actioner finds him as a cop unable to tell his wife and son his true profession. Sent on an assignment to infiltrate a gang in Hong Kong, his cover is blown by the head. With a female cop played by the late Anita Mui on his tail and his son in mortal danger, will Jet’s character be able to come out of this alive.

It’s definitely up there with one of Jet’s best action movies and the fight sequences are out of this world especially when they have him team up with his son who’s also a kung-fu kicking expert. The little lad is special and so agile during his fights. Highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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