Kung Fu Cult Master (1993)
Reviewed by: Arshadnm6 on 2005-04-14
Summary: Wong Jing makes a surprising bad film, even for his standards......
A production based on Jin Yong's novel "Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre" (Yi Tian Tu Long Ji) revolves around two swords that everyone is relentlessly seeks since their wielders will become the masters of the world of martial arts. Two large factions arise from the competition for the swords. The first is a group consists of renowned martial arts clans, such as Shaolin, Wu Tang and so on. On the other hand is the Ming Sect, also known as the ‘Evil Sect’ and is led by odd characters including ‘Green Bat’ (Richard Ng from ‘Winners and Sinners’ and ‘Magnificent Warriors’) and ‘Gold Lion’. Chaos ensures as two young martial artists from these opposing factions (Francis Ng and Cheung Man) fall in love and have a young child, Chang Mo-Kei, who becomes a pawn of these warring sects from the day of his birth. Shortly afterwards, his parents commit suicide to protect the location of Gold Lion, who has discovered the whereabouts and gained possession of one of the fabled swords. Chang Mo-Kei grows up (becoming Jet Li from ‘Hitman’ and ‘My Father is a Hero’), but has no martial arts ability as he had been struck with the “Jinx Palm” accidentally, during his parents death, making martial arts practice impossible for him. Chang Mo-Kei is ousted along with a rebellious young martial arts envoy from the collection of martial arts clans (played by Chingmy Yau from ‘City Hunter’ and ‘New Legend of Shaolin’) by jealous schoolmate Ngai Sing during the absence of the Ming Sect’s grandmaster (played by Sammo Hung Kam-Bo from ‘The Avenging Fist’ and ‘Project A’), and finds himself at the mercy of a monk who unwittingly teaches him the “Solar Stance”, by healing his wound and makes him invulnerable under false pretences of unwillingness to learn by Chang Mo-Kei. Following his escape, Chang Mo-Kei sets out to end the rivalries by vanquishing the main leaders of the opposing martial arts clans after discovering that the war between them is a plan formulated by the government to reduce the power of the martial arts clans. In the process, he also has to seek vengeance for the death of his parents and deal with his mother’s advice of never trusting women.

This movie has so much wonder-fu performed by different martial artists that it is simply breath-taking. However, the martial arts is set-out amidst the special-effects. This is done purposefully as lower ranking and inferior martial arts utilise hand-to-hand combat whereas the veterans and more skilled ones utilise wonder-fu. Surprisingly, Sammo Hung did the action choreography for this movie! Although Jet Li utilised Tai Chi wonderfully in the final fight (evidently better than in ‘Tai Chi Master’) against two great masters on the plus side. The locations were also not at all inspired and contain a few twists and numerous wasted subplots creating webs throughout the main storyline. Moreover, the atmosphere to this movie was of a B-movie throughout and never showed off anything except for a reasonable variety of costumes. The soundtrack is dreadful and hardly memorable.

This feature also echoes Wong Jing’s style of film directorship, since mad monks desiring to rape virgins figure in the movie for absolutely no reasons (since I would have assumed that they surely would be kicked out Shaolin for such impure thoughts). Moreover, the plot is packed too tightly in this movie with so much going on that the movie barely deals with any deeper issues and swiftly moves from one problem to the next without solving anything. Also, most of the characters in this movie are raving lunatics in one way or another and never seem realistic for a second. Moreover, the main villains never appear for very long in the movie and certain characters are just there to form a certain part of the movie and are dispensed with when their use has been fulfilled. Even for Wong Jing’s standard, this movie is bad and this is proved by the absence of a sequel since at the end of the movie Jet Li offers three reasonable wishes to the main villain of which she only requests two for the final showdown. This film did no-one any credit and is better forgotten once watched or yet better at the bottom of your garbage disposal.

Overall, this movie is waste of time through out and does not carry anything significant worth remembering. The main problem with this move is that no-one was ever given an opportunity to really act and it shows!

Overall Rating: 5.6/10
Reviewer Score: 6