Sword Master 2016: One of the best Chinese-language remakes

Many wuxia films could be called “Sword Master,”. But this particular entry has the distinction of reviving a classic story by genre novelist Gu Long. And remaking a celebrated Shaw Brothers movie from 1977 (“Death Duel”) that starred this film’s director, Derek Yee.

Firstly, a decidedly eccentric stew of venerated wuxia characters and themes. Yee’s slightly altered version brings together a handful of storylines: a terminally ill, proud swordsman (Peter Ho, made up like the fifth KISS member) who feels lost after hearing his mortal enemy, known as the Third Master, has perished; a powerful clan princess (Yiyan Jiang) seeking vengeance on her beloved, a rival clan scion who jilted her; and a poor, taciturn bordello worker (Kenny Lin) hiding out with the family of a prostitute (Mengjie Jiang). Because he’s the one the other two are looking for. An expert martial artist grown tired of bloodshed.

When everyone’s paths cross, Sword Master (Tam Thieu Gia Dich Kiem) manages some fever-pitch fun. The blades and their wielders defying gravity in aggressively composed, 3-D-mindful ways. But for the most part this is a clunky hodgepodge of old-fashioned warrior tropes, awkward humor, five-alarm melodrama. And CGI-dependent 21st century action filmmaking that favors visual effects — in this case. The subpar kind — over the heaving athleticism of grounded choreography. So slick and silly, “Sword Master” rarely reaches the thrilling heights of the many kinetic twirl-and-slice epics directed by its producer. The legendary Tsui Hark. Sword Master is phim hanh dong vo thuat 2020.

Movie Info

Studio: Bona Film Group Limited
Cast: Kenny Lin, Peter Ho, Yiyan Jiang, Mengjie Jiang
Director: Derek Yee
Screenwriters: Derek Yee, Tsui Hark
Producer: Tsui Hark
Executive producers: Yu Dong, Jeffrey Chan, John Zeng, Cao Guxiong
Editor: Hongyu Zu
Composer: Peter Kam
Runtime: 105 minutes

What are the Critics saying about ‘Sword Master’ 2016?

Robert Abele (Los Angeles Times)

For the most part this is a clunky hodgepodge of old-fashioned warrior tropes, awkward humor, five-alarm melodrama. And CGI-dependent 21st century action filmmaking…

Mark Jenkins (Washington Post)

The emphasis is on deep-focus 3-D spectacle, not psychology.

Jeannette Catsoulis (New York Times)

This nostalgic nod to the Chinese magic-and-martial arts genre known as wuxia mixes love story and clan war with equal amounts of silliness and heart.

Edmund Lee (South China Morning Post)

Sword Master is easily one of the best Chinese-language remakes in recent times.

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