The Final Master
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San Francisco Chronicle
The fight climax and very interesting resolution cap off an exhilarating two hours of entertainment — and suggest a sequel to come. Hope there is one.
Xu (The Sword Identity) may not be a household name, but The Final Master proves that he's the next big thing in martial-arts cinema.
The Seattle Times
The film’s action scenes are masterpieces of stately choreography, with elements of humor incorporated.
The New York Times
The characters and the actors playing them are appealing, and the fight scenes have a lot of moxie, not to mention a lot of steel-slinging.
In the Chinese martial-arts film The Final Master, the fighting is more lucid than the plot. That may be characteristic of the genre, yet this smart, stylish movie diverges from the expected in many ways, most of them enjoyable.
The Hollywood Reporter
Some viewers will find the film's mannered performances and direction silly; but while Wang Tianlin's lensing doesn't match the luxuriant sheen that Christopher Doyle and Philippe Le Sourd have delivered for Wong, the production elements do add up to a coherent style.
Visually, this translates into thrilling action sequences of lone knife-wielders hewing down ranks of adversaries with balletic precision. If preserving this means sacrificing a scruple or two, it’s worth the trade.
Los Angeles Times
Writer-director Xu Haofeng’s movie doesn’t feel like many other movies of its ilk. That’s mostly a good thing, even if the movie can’t quite fit all its eccentric pieces into a satisfying whole.
The A.V. Club
Without Wong Kar-Wai’s visual grandeur to provide a sense of the epic, The Final Master just lurches clumsily from one scene to the next, flatlining whenever fists aren’t flying.
The film is a seemingly endless series of convoluted double-dealing, backstabbing, and factional realignment.
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