Reviewed by: STSH
I stop short of describing this film as great. However, I found it to be hypnotic for the first 2/3 of the screen time. I can't precisely say why, but here are a few of the good things. The cinematography and scenery are superb. Just shows what can be achieved with A-grade production values and a top crew. The influence of the 70s Lone Wolf And Babycart is very strong, and helps give the film a Japanese ambience, which only helps. The top cast of fighters and swordplayers is as joyful to watch as they are violent. And Yueh Hua is no great one for expression, but that is an advantage in this film, as he plays things Japanese style. And much the music is toe-tapping and enjoyable. There's even some brief discreet nudity at the beginning, where most of the hero's family is killed.
Reviewer Score: 9
A few things distract. For instance, the theme from Days Of Our Lives pops up twice, destroying what are meant to be tender moments. And when the head villain is finally confronted, his explanation of motive doesn't gel with the rest of the story.
No matter. Highly recommended.