19 March 2019 | ckormos1
Everyone's favorite evil eunuch does his dirty deeds
It begins with the old assassination trick - the dagger in the fish. Filet of eunuch attempt fails. Pai Ying's opening fight sequence, empty hand versus dagger, was excellent. He uses this attempt to overthrow the weak emperor. It is established from the start that this eunuch is formidable and capable of any dastardly deed. This is a role Pai Ying started in "Dragon Inn" in 1967 and continues here.
Unfortunately this movie sets up an "unbeatable" sword technique. Movies often set up something like this, some skill or quality that cannot be overcome is set up but then the character holds back on using it when realistically that would always be the first move and "game over". As an audience we seem to have learned to put up with that. As I writer, I never ever make that mistake. Instead I set up a fatal flaw that the protagonist must overcome to win thereby proving he deserves to win.
The final fight begins in an arena with Sammo Hung as a challenger. Like a good stunt man he is defeated, of course. The fighting goes on with Tsung Hua and Lisa Chiao Chiao both taking on Pai Ying. Everything about the final fight was fabulous.
This would be the third time I have watched this movie over the past eight or so years. It is on my list to watch again whenever it seems appropriate. I recommend it for all fans of the genre and rate it well above average.