Directed by: Haofeng Xu
Starring: Yang Song, Yuanyuan Zhao
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Lions Gate
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Running Time: 110 minutes
Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars
This action-packed martial arts film stars Yu Chenghui from the TV series “The Legend of Bruce Lee” and is from the writer of the film, “The Grandmasters”. Well action-packed is a strong word, the film attempts to be action-packed but drags quite a bit. The sword play in the film is very impressive though, I just wish there was more of it. Fans of martial arts films, might want to check this out but it is not one of the best of the bunch. Also the 110 minute running time hurts the film quite a bit, would have worked better at around 90 minutes. It is not epic enough to hold that length.
The premise is as follows “In the Southern Chinese city of Guancheng, during the Ming Dynasty, there lived four families, each of them faithful keepers of martial arts. Anyone who wants to establish a new form or technique of kung fu has to fight their way through the families’ gates. But when one man’s request is rejected, he will be put through a series of fights, determined to prove that his sword is invincible.”
One of the film’s pluses is that it comes with a Mandarin and English 5.1 Dolby Digital track. When the film does have action, it sounds great. Also the English dub track is not as bad as most, even though original Mandarin is preferred. This film would have looks great on Blu-ray, not sure why that release was skipped. The special features are very disappointing only packing a trailer included.