九二神鵰之痴心情長劍 (1992)
Saviour of the Soul II


Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 07/05/2011
Summary: A journey to nowhere

The Ice Princess in “Savior of the Soul II” was the perfect role for Rosamond Kwan—as was Aunt Yee in “Once Upon a Time in China”, but for different reasons. In the movie under discussion she is the subject of a fevered dream, an obsession of Ching Yan leads him on a journey that can have only one end—his death—but one that he willingly undertakes. She had the kind of beauty in 1992 that would make a patriot betray his country or a monk renounce his religion. She was blessed with an almost too perfect comeliness.

This sums up all the good points in “Savior of the Soul II”, at least for an uninformed gwielo. I must have missed a lot of stuff that was funny or at least that made sense given the right context. It might have been like watching “Airplane” without knowing anything about the social, political and economic history of the United States in the five years before it was released: one knows it should be funny but also knows he will never get it.

The action scenes are no better than necessary—while they were planned and carried out with a lot of flashy camera work and constructive editing, we never saw more than Andy Lau failing good-naturedly to impersonate an action star. Lai Chi-Lam wasn’t obnoxious which puts him in the top half of juvenile players. Corey Yuen’s talents weren’t exactly wasted since he has appeared in front of and behind the camera in a few score really bad movies, but like the rest of the cast he seemed to be on autopilot for most of the film.

The idea of a quest for something unattainable resonates throughout Western and Eastern literature. Parsifal will never stop looking the Grail; Captain Ahab must pursue Moby Dick to the very end; Monkey will always undertake his journey to the west; Wile E. Coyote can’t give up his pursuit of the Roadrunner while he still has life in his body and an ACME Products catalog. Despite these masterpieces of the genre there is no guarantee that the quality of a book, legend, cartoon or movie will match the nobility of the theme that inspires them. While Andy is very noble at the end of “Savior of the Soul II” we haven’t been sufficiently involved in the difficulties he has to overcome during his quest. His honorable attempt to woo the now centuries old Ice Maiden fall flat and the movie just ends. I am not sure if watching “Savior of the Soul” would make this film any more meaningful or even comprehensible but after sitting through the sequel I have no incentive to seek it out.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 08/07/2007
Summary: comedic adventure film

David Lai Dai-Wai and Corey Yuen Kwai team up to bring us the sequel to their 1991 box office sensation. This is the second film of four that they would share directing chores; they collaborated on solid films like She Shoots Straight [1990], Lee Rock [1991], and later, Women on the Run [1993] and Mahjong Dragon [1997]. Saviour of the Soul II [1992] is an all-out crazy, anything goes comedic adventure film that the filmmakers claim had its genesis in a Louis Cha novel that inspired its predecessor.

If you are new to Hong Kong cinema, this is probably not a good film to pique your further interest. It would be better to share a bottle of wine with a significant other while screening the first film. If you like the kinetic, comic book influenced films of this era like City Hunter [1993], you'll like this film. Andy Lau Tak-Wah does a lot of cool sword stances while Corey Yuen Kwai does his comic kung fu moves. Shirley Kwan Suk-Yi looks real sexy; she sings and dances. You'll see cars with long, red tongues drinking fuel from giant bowels. I swear.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 11/04/2006
Summary: more like silliness of the soul...

now, most people's complaints about the first 'saviour of the soul' film, seem to be aimed at the often uneasy mixture of dark fantasy and silly cartoon humour. in this film, they've solved that problem by ditching the darkness and embracing the silliness...

david lai and corey yuen continue their shared directorial duties, with yuen stepping in front of the camera into a starring role, as 'doctor'; the inventor side-kick of ching (andy lau reprising his role) and tim (lai chi-lam), a child version of ching. the three set off on a mission to find the 'virgin ice' and the mystical 'essence air', that can give eternal life.

along the way, they run into ruby (shirley kwan) a siren like bar owner, who takes the money from the men who are doomed to die in the quest for the virgin ice. ruby falls for ching, but he only has thoughts of his dream girl (rosamund kwan), who only lives in his dreams, or does she?

now, this is a very silly film, without much of the style that made the first film so watchable. it's entertaining enough, if you're in the mood for silly, but it'll dissappoint if you're expecting something more. however, if you are in the mood for daft, you'll probably enjoy this; it's got a few funny moments, a few nicely inventive special effects, a couple of scenes that parody some other populer hong kong films and richard ng is pretty funny as the king of evil.

silly, very silly...


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 08/15/2003
Summary: Pretty bad

There was a lot of hype on how good the first one was, and when i watched that i was disappointed. Watching this.......even more so!!

IS there a plot here? Is it suppose to be not serious for even one second? I got lost on waht was going on!!

Action was ordinary, very run of the will. Acting was ok, Andy Lau knows how to play those laid back characters, but Richard Ng seems totally out of place as a villian.

The only thing i like about the movie was the comedy. It should of stuck to being just a comedy adventure but the movie tries to become more serious down the road. It fails miserably in this category.

Back to the comedy, i did laugh out loud a few times and thats why i am giving this a generous score of

3/10


Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 07/06/2001
Summary: Highly entertaining

Once again, I find myself standing against a bunch of other reviewers. This film is surreal and wacky. It is played, for the most part, way over the top, and quite deliberately so. The madness occasionally falls into the background and the story gets serious - these are the only bits which fall flat. Other than them, this film is a hoot !

The pace mostly ranges between manic and furious, apart from a few very slow scenes in the last one-third, which ARE truly awful. The action choregraphy and flying people stuff is terrific in every sense, and I admit to being a sucker for all that wu'xia stuff.

And the photography is just glorious. Definitely one of the better looking HK wild actioners. Instead of saying it's bad, I'd place this film among the best of HK mo lau tai (nonsense comedy), and even in the same league as that terrific eye-candy wu'xia confuser MAIDENS OF HEAVENLY MOUNTAINS.

Like every HK wild comedy, including all those which do and don't work, SOTS 2 draws material from all over the place. Films to be parodied include the original GOD OF GAMBLERS trilogy, CHINESE GHOST STORY (which Richard Ng playing the bad guy !), MONKEY and even Kubrick's 2001.

And what happened to Shirley Kwan ? Wow, what a dish ! Damn those bubbles getting in the way during her bath scene.

I agree that this film has little to do with the original SOTS, although there are a few visual devices which it borrows, such as walking on flying swords. However, read my review of SOTS I, and you'll see I was far from impressed by it. I think the only time SOTS I worked was when Aaron Kwok was on screen, whereas SOTS is, apart from a few mawkish bits near the end, terrific fun all the way.

Just a note that much of the filming was done in British Columbia and the Yukon.

I shake my head in bemusement at these other guys who don't seem to have got the joke. Certainly it's not a film for everyone. Nevertheless, I have no hesitation in rating this one as Highly Recommended.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: RLM
Date: 04/28/2000
Summary: Waste of time..

This movie is utter crap. It's hard to choose the worst moment -could it be the trite opening sword dream sequence on the mountain? -possibly, or the annoying scientist and the enlarging egg routine -maybe, or the three characters emerging from the bathing lady's bathtub? - close, or the lame billiards bit complete with yet another enlarging gag? - I think so, but since I stopped the video at this point, there may be even worse ones to come. Whoever named this movie, Saviour of the Soul II, must have never seen the first. Avoid at all cost.


Reviewed by: grimes
Date: 04/09/2000

So bad it's good or so bad it's bad? Tough call. One thing is for certain, it's bad. Not that it doesn't have it's moments but there is absolutely no coherence to this film. Andy Lau is coasting through this with autopilot set to 'heroic and charming' though he seems to be having fun at times. Rosamund Kwan looks pretty and concerned. The best moment of the film belongs to the innkeeper at the Terminal Inn (or something like that) with her completely random song and dance number.

I'd try to summarize the plot but I can't think of a good reason to do so. Suffice it to say that there's some action, romance, and comedy. See it if you're bored. By the way, this has nothing to do with the first Saviour of the Soul, which is far superior.


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

This story reflects the human sentiments and relationships described by Louis Cha in his famous "Savior" novel. Legend has it that a beautiful Ice Woman lives in the Snowy Mountain. Many people are attracted to the area to look for her, causing the Last Stop In Life Hotel in the Snowy foothills to prosper. Among the guests is Yen, a famous martial arts hero who is very loyal in love. The one drawback to the quest is that nobody has ever returned from Snowy Mountain. Yen often dreams of the Ice Woman, but can never see her face. The innkeeper, who has a crush on him, dresses up as the Ice Woman to entice him. But Yen does not believe her and insists on going up the mountain to search. On the way, he angers the Devil King and is rescued by the Ice Woman. But in doing so, the Ice Woman ages 200 years overnight. Yen still wants to marry her, but the Devil King will not let them leave. Finally, the innkeeper sacrifices herself for Yen, allowing Yen to fight the Devil King in one final battle.

[Reviewed by Rim Films Catalog]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Modestly, a most boring and plotless movie, elements of the storyof the "aunt and nephew" and the magical "ice bed" appears in this movie, but the plot is completely pointless.

[Reviewed by Anonymous]


Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

Like its predecessor, this is an elaborate comic book adventure; unlike its predecessor, it's crazed and stupid. A search for 'the Virgin Ice,' a battle with kung fu harlequins, cheesy special effects, a skewed parody of The King of Gamblers, and a culminating fight against Evil all contributed to my annoyance. One woman in the audience cried.

(1.5/4)



[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 3