ѼC (1981)
The Emperor and His Brother

Reviewed by: PAUL MARTINEZ
Date: 09/26/2004
Summary: You'll need a scorecard

Well the other review here was short, sweet and to the point. Unfortunately it was dead on correct. I had to see this twice and I'm still fuzzy on some of it. This goes to show you that not all Shaw Brothers films are classics.

First of all, I think every working actor in HK got a job in this movie. without a doubt the largest cast I've ever seen. Now I would characterize this film as a Martial Arts film with some comedic elements. Not truly a comedy, not truly funny either. With a cast this big as you can imagine there is nowhere near enough time for character development. Sub-plots are started but never gone back to. It's just a mess. I would break down the story but its so convoluted it makes my head hurt thinking about it. Basically about an Emperor who didn't have a male heir so he switches his daughter with a son of a Han. So when the child becomes emperor he helps the Chings although his bloodline says he should do otherwise.

The acting was okay nothing special. As ususal Ti Lung's presence is very strong and he was able to standout in the enormous crowd. There were few fight scenes but when there were some they were very good performances. Especially the one-armed swordsman character and of course Ti Lung.

Some decent fight choreography isn't enough to save this one unfortunately. this is a perfect example that quantity doesn't equal quality.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 01/19/2004
Summary: 2.5/5

*** THE EMPEROR AND HIS BROTHER - One of the weaker Chor Yuen wu xia films, dragged down by too many characters and a convoluted plot.

Reviewer Score: 5