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sQ (1969)
A City Called Dragon

Reviewed by: Bruce
Date: 06/01/2009
Summary: Arty Taiwanese martial arts film starring Hsu Feng.

This was a generally excellent film, with a strong story, inventive camerawork, and solid direction. For fans of Hsu Feng, this film is required viewing, as it was her first major role, and perhaps her biggest role in a martial arts film. Until the film's climactic battle, she is the lone heroic figure in the film, fighting alone inside the walls of a hostile city. Unfortunately, the martial arts scenes are weak (with the final battle particularly unsatisfactory, in small part because the villain's weapon is so ludicrous). But despite the film's flaws, it stands artistically far above most of the Taiwanese martial arts films of the late 1960's, and is very enjoyable.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 08/09/2003
Summary: Good direction but ......

Good direction still seemed to matter in the late 60s and even into the early 70s in Taiwan and HK. The camerawork is very good here, apart from being much too dark in places. The intercutting of viewpoint changes, the sound design and the acting all work together in a very professional manner which is noticeably lacking in movies made later.

Hsu Feng is young and very pretty here, and she heads a very good cast.

Unfortunately, the mixture of these great ingredients just doesn't work. Twnety minutes in, I found myself not caring about any of the characters, including Hsu Feng, despite being in obvious peril. Pity.

Reviewer Score: 1