8 October 2001 | rogierr
superior in every respect
Provided you are slightly interested in fantasy, horror, and a little kung-fu, this film is the best in the genre. Great choreography and music, ok humor, very good lighting, nearly perfect sound (unlike many fantasy flicks), a very good story and colorful and dynamic cinematography (Lau Moon Tong) that surpasses even Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Lee, 2000) sometimes though it is nine years older. On every other fields CTHD is simply crushed by this fabulous film. I can't believe CTHD got 22843 votes and Swordsman 2 less than 1% of that. Mwahahahehe: have all these guys missed something! :-P
In Asia Jet Li is very famous and most Chinese who are interested in movies will probably have seen this already. In the rest of the world this is probably only seen by people who liked Evil Dead (Raimi, 1982), Chinese Ghost Story (also directed by Siu-Tung Ching, 1987) AND at recently CTHD. Featured are Recoiling whip, Flying bomb, Rotation of the stars (massive action scene with 6 swordfighters), Essence absorbing stance, Invincible Dawn, Kiddo and Scum Bag (last two are characters). Some of the story elements are hard to follow, but that doesn't diminish the entertaining value (story continues AND action continues): just go see it again if you didn't understand it 8-)
THIS is groundbreaking: not CTHD. The action scenes in CTHD may be shot beautifully and without many cuts, but Swordsman 2 definitely has more fantasy and the director isn't afraid of showing blood like Ang Lee WAS unfortunately. Swordsman 2 tries to embed the story in Japanese civil war and therefore the film starts with Japanese swordfighters (speaking Kantonese though) and Japanese music. After the titles we are left with gravity-defying swordfighters of Chinese AND Japanese origin and ninjas as they fight in South China in the 22nd year of Emperor Sun. Also there is a megalomaniac who slowly changes into a woman and there is a girl who constantly is mistaken for a man (not exactly like Vasquez in 'Aliens'). Don't ask for the significance of that plz. Swordsman 2 (haven't seen part 1 yet) is NOT over-rated with 8.6 (211 votes), and provided you liked Iron Monkey (Woo-Ping Yuen, 1993), this one will blow you out of your socks and chop you in half. Finally, the popular Stormriders (Wai Keung Lau, 1998) also couldn't come near this masterpiece.
10 points out of 10 :-)