The Storm Riders (1998)
Reviewed by: Arshadnm6 on 2005-04-11
Summary: A Bonanza of Special Effects and Galore!!!........
An manga-style fantasy martial arts / adventure spectacle with plenty of visual effects and a stardom of cast. ‘Ekin Cheng’ and ‘Aaron Kwok’ star as Wind and Storm respectively, two young apprentices, abducted when they were kids and trained in martial arts by the notorious Lord Conqueror (Sonny Chiba, whom you might recognize from earlier work in ‘Casino Raiders’ and ‘The Street Fighter’). Lord Conquer is the leader of the Conqueror’s Clan and is hell-bent on total supremacy in the world of martial arts. Prophet Mud Buddha (played by ‘Lai Yiu-Cheung, whom you might recognize from earlier work in ‘Bio-Zombie’ and ‘Armageddon’) for-tells the future and instructs Lord Conqueror to abduct Wind and Storm (when they are only kids) and make them his disciples and then after ten years time he will reveal more about his future, this will bring Lord Conqueror much prosperity for him and his kingdom. Lord Conquer does as instructed, wiping out Wind and Storm’s family in order to retain them.

Ten years later, both Storm and Wind have become Lord Conqueror’s supreme commanders. Wind is a kind noble warrior, whom possesses the powerful ‘wind kick’ and cloud, is a hot tempered moody warrior, who’s ‘cloud palms’ allow him to utilize the power of any type of fluid with powerful results. Lord Conqueror desperately seeks to find Mud Buddha again to determine the second half of his legacy. When Lord Conquer finally meets up with Mud Buddha he finds out that his destiny allows Wind and Storm to make him and then break him.

Lord Conqueror plots to turn Cloud and Wind against each other, using his beautiful daughter ‘Chairty’ (Kristy Yeung), by marrying her of to Wind, whereas Storm is deeply in love with her. But unfortunately the plan goes awry and Lord conquer accidentally kills his daughter and before too long they both turn on their master.

Ekin Cheung’s acting it bleak through out this movie, where at times he takes a back role to Aaron kwok. Also the crying scenes (especially where Sonny Chiba rubs of his daughter) are no oscar-winning performances and should have been contained. There is very little character development, some background and history references, but overall not much time is given to understand the characters relation with one another. ‘Kirsty Yeung’ and ‘Michael Tse Tin-Wah’ play more of a supporting actor roles, as Lord conqueror’s disciples, and their death in this movie is hardly worth crying about. There are other minor roles from actors like ‘Roy Cheung’ (as a Shaolin Monk), ‘Anthony Wong’ (as ‘Sword Saint’), ‘Alex Fong’ (as whispering prince) and ‘Shu Qi’ (as Muse, whom later develops a love interest with Aaron Kwok). Andrew Lau has done a good job of portraying each character and the feel of the dynasty and Era, have been very well done. Although there are too many defects in this movie that can’t be helped at times, especially with the over acting and at times Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng hardly put more than a few words in each sentence, which sometimes gives you the feeling whether their characters are supposed to have a speech impediment.

Overall very well done movie and some worthy action sequences that certainly keep this movie away from the Low-Class HK movies, but too many actors tied up in one movie which only gives each of them a quick few minutes to allow them to build up their character before they get killed or thrown in Lord Conqueror’s dungeon of pain.

Overall Rating: 8.1/10
Reviewer Score: 8