22 August 2016 | MartinHafer
Not nearly as good as the first film, but I loved that female villain!
"The One-Armed Swordsman" is a classic and one of the best martial arts films of all time. So, it's not surprised that the movie had sequels. While not nearly as good, Yu Wang is back as the title character and it's interesting enough to merit watching if you like these sorts of pictures. If you don't, this one is unlikely to convert you.
When the film begins, a group of baddies named the 8 Kings attack the leaders and best students of the 40 martial arts schools. They then send an ultimatum to all the surviving students back home...."Cut off one of your arms or we'll kill your masters". Not surprisingly, they decide instead to seek out the One-Armed Swordsman and enlist his help. Will he come out of retirement to help? Well, considering the title of the film, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion.
Along the way, they encounter a lot of treachery and baddies. My favorite was the evil woman who smiles so convincingly...as she murders folks right and left. She is an amazingly good villain and it's a shame she's only in a small portion of the film. In addition to her, you'll see LOTS of blood and gore and tons of ridiculous fight scenes using 'wire fu'. This is the most serious problem of the movie. In the first film, there is some wire fu but mostly it's just really, really great swordsmanship and martial arts. Here, however, the quality of the fighting is much, much lower with blood substituting for quality fighting. Not a terrible fighting film but certainly not near the quality of the first one despite having the same leading man and director. Diverting but far from a must-see. After all, you DON'T expect total realism from a one-armed film...but you do expect better than this.
By the way, if you want to make this film a drinking game, I suggest everyone take a shot every time a character is mortally wounded yet miraculously, for a few seconds, begins fighting again despite losing gallons of blood or having HUGE swords thrust through them! I especially love the scene with the guy impaled with a sword and he manages to kill a dozen more guys for about the next five minutes before he ultimately expires!