The Duel (2000)
Reviewed by: Arshadnm6 on 2005-04-11
Summary: Better results than expected, but some obvious flaws....
The Third installment in the Trilogy of manga-style martial arts / fantasy stardom movies, with fortunately a lot less co-stars that simply appear in the movie for a few minutes before miraculously disappearing from the face of Andrew Lau’s World. The legendary tale of master swordsmen Yip Koo-Sing and Sai Mun Chiu Suet is retold by the same team that brought you ‘The Storm Riders’ with plenty of special effects on the table but a little less emphasis on budget.

Andy Lau play ‘Yip Koo Sing’, master of the Heavenly Flying Fairy Stance (a bit over doing it with the names of the stances), whom wishes to challenge the dull and honorable swordsman Sai Mun Chiu Suet (Ekin Cheung) at a duel. The whole duel-deal causes a big ruckus in the court and plenty of people are simply dying to watch this duel, that will be held in the Forbidden City. The Emperor of China (played by Patrick Tam, from other memorable roles in ‘Beast Cops’ and ‘The Legend of Speed’) issues 8 Golden Medals, to Luk Siu-Fung (played by the audacious ‘Nick Cheung’, from the Conman Series), that allow the bearer passage to watch the duel. However things start getting out of hand when a bunch of murders occur and no one knows whom is to blame, although some fingers point to poor old Sai Mun Chiu Suet as the guilty party. ‘Vicky Zhao’ also stars in this movie as the Emperors young but quirky sister, Princess Phoenix, whom has a crush on Yip Koo-Sing and also helps out Luk Siu-Fung in the investigation. But things go from bad to worse when Sai Mun Chiu Suet is set-up for one of the murders, and the family members of those murdered start taking things in their own hands.

This movie, I rate, better than ‘A Man called Hero’ but still not as good as ‘The Storm Riders’. Andrew Lau had fewer actors to juggle with in this movie although, although sometimes you wish a few cameos might have helped, from say ‘Shu Qi’ or ‘Anthony Wong’, whom came in the earlier two movies. Regardless this is definitely a good entertaining value for money movie which will not disappoint, provided your hopes aren’t too high up in the first place. My advise is not to take this as a serious movie at all, and simply watch it for the laughs, (**SPOILER**) although Andy Lau does die at the end of the movie, as always, so disappointments are few in hand.

Overall Rating: 7.6/10
Reviewer Score: 8