21 August 2019 | joelnova93
Pointless Story, but Excellent Final Duel
I appreciate the effort to include a complex story along with great Martial Arts, so the genre doesn't appear as meat-headed as many other films make it seem, but it truly fails to deliver here.
"Sentimental Swordsman" is another Gu Long novel-to-film adaptation, with Ti Lung playing Li Chin-Huan, a very solemn character with interesting skills and weapon choice. An added appeal to this film is that it weaves in some other characters that appear in related films, specifically Ai Fei, played by Derek Yee, who's older self appears in "Pursuit of Vengeance", referencing Li Chin-Huan as he meets one of his future students. Ti Lung also stars in that film, but obviously as another character.
The film's story is supposed to spell out one of distress for our hero Li Chin-Huan, as he is framed as the very person he intends to kill, the Plum Blossom Bandit. But following this story's logic through all the twists and turns will not lead you to a satisfying end. In return, my favorite fighting moments were definitely the ones where
1) the real Plum Blossom Bandit meets Ai Fei
2) Ai Fei vs. Mr. Iron Pipe
3) The Final Duel, where I was very impressed with Ti Lung's stunt performance, and the overall swordsmanship and intelligence from the choreographers.
If you don't mind skipping ahead if you get bored, you may be able to salvage something from this film. I also hear the sequel is far better.