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(Review originally written at 12 January 2008)

This is a pretty original and refreshing genre movie and not just for its time. Of course the concept alone of having a one-armed swordsman as the main character in a Hong Kong martial arts movie is already original and refreshing on its own. But also the whole handling and development of the storyline is great and refreshing. It's not just some mindless chopping in this movie.

I must admit that in this case I liked the 1995 remake "Dao" even a better as movie. It had a better storyline, better emotions, better villains, better fight sequences and a better overall style. Nevertheless this movie is still a better one than "Dao" is. Qualitivly the story is a better told one and of course simply just because this movie was first and therefor automatically is also more original.

It's already an outdated and somewhat silly looking movie. It's a movie with some fake looking sets and beards and some horrible added sound effects. Also the blades and blood are obvious fakes. The movie on its own is pretty violent and graphic but because of its fake look its nothing too shocking or impressive. It also is not like its laughable it just makes the movie look outdated.

The fights also aren't ever really long one's but they are really well choreographed and makes it very enjoyable to view for the fans of the genre. Toward the end the action of course starts to kick in even more. It's also true that the movie gets even better by then.

This just is no Hollywood movie, so the editing and camera-work might seem a bit off to some but this is of course all part of the Asian style of film-making. Not that I'm a particular great fan of it all though. In some things Hollywood movies are just better, mostly when it comes down to the technical things behind film-making.

A great and original movie within its genre!

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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