18 December 2002 | Jordan-M
I actually saw "A Man Called Hero" before "Storm Riders", which came first - and subsequently is compared due to the fact that the same production company, director, and cast is used this time around.
Regardless, I have to say that contrary to other reviewers, I enjoyed "A Man Called Hero" far more than Storm Riders. Don't get me wrong, Storm Riders is a great movie, but as far as pure entertainment is concerned, "Hero" does the job better. I just feel that the story, characters, and settings do a better job of drawing you in than the typical "Mystical Ancient China" backdrop that Storm Riders gives you.
Sure, there are plot holes - but these are easily overlooked seeing as these holes are filled with amazing spectacle fights. The fight scene most people mention is the duel between Master Pride and Invincible. I have to say that this is the most visually impressive battle in the movie - and one of the best I have seen in HK movies to date.
I have to say that the Ninjas in this movie look really cool. I think it's the fact that they look like chauffers makes them seem even MORE hardcore than they are to begin with. Either that or it's nice to see ninjas other than the way they're typically shown.
Another thing is that I enjoyed seeing how the characters interacted with eachother and changed throughout the story. In Storm Riders, for the most part, they were just like "I am a warrior. I will fight you now and conquer your land... for the fire monkey!" There was really little depth in them. Hero, on the other hand, is "born under the star of death" which essentially means that whoever Hero has an emotional connection to is in danger of dying. This obviously has an effect on the man, and you can tell by Ekin Cheng's solemn performance. Most of the time he is intensely emotionless. Yeah, that doesn't really make too much sense, but I think you know what I'm trying to say! He seems like he doesn't care, but you know he could make you combust with the wave of a palm.
Lots of people complain about the Statue Of Liberty duel. Why? It was far better than the Statue Of Liberty fight in, say, X-Men! Stop whining.
As it is, A Man Called Hero is a movie you should definitely see if you're into SFX Battles, Turn of the Century Dramas, Ninjas, Ekin Cheng, or HK films in general. This movie is what woke me up to HK cinema. Go for it!