4 January 2005 | sarastro7
Quite bad, unfortunately
I had heard good things about The 36 Deadly Styles, but what I got was a big disappointment. The story is hardly coherent, and it actually seems like at least two different movies were conflated into one. The fight of the two masters who had waited ten years to settle their score (over a lost book of the 36 deadly styles, which is the sole reference in the entire movie to its actual title) had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story.
The first hour and seven or eight minutes were very, very dull, and made all the worse by a really terrible bad guy. There were a couple of decent fights (mostly involving the girl), but nothing to get worked up about. Then, suddenly, in the last 20 minutes, we get a lot of great training and fight sequences. The final battle is passable, but not great. The end is too abrupt.
I rate most of the movie a "3" out of 10, but because of the last 20 minutes, I'll generously award it an overall rating of 5.
After watching one of the greatest martial arts movies ever, 7 Grandmasters, it was very anti-climactic to see the same director, Joseph Kuo, make such a royal mess out of The 36 Deadly Styles. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that most of the movie was done by some hack, and only a few scenes were actually Joseph Kuo's work.