Lovers Blades (1982)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2012-11-23
Summary: A fantastic martial arts comedy...
For a long time Tony Liu’s “Lovers Blades” was a hard movie to track down, but a new, remastered version has recently become available. It is well worth finding and viewing as it is an excellent martial arts comedy with a stellar cast.
A variety of characters are converging on the home of Siao Pun Hu for a celebration of his accomplishments in the martial world. Right after a group of four cowardly bandits (Chan Lau, Lam Fai-Wong, Yuen Fai and Chiang Kam) run amok of a group of fighters transporting silver between locations, the treasure caravan arrives at a town inn. Also at the lodging are others on their way to the celebration, including Scholar Yuan Sau Choi (Meng Yuen-Man), Siu Gai Bao (Kara Hui) and a quarreling couple who love to fight and then kiss and make-up (Yuen Tak and Candy Wen). Chemistry between Scholar Yuan and Gai Bao is immediately evident, but a distracting fight between the passionate husband and wife ends any potential romance between the two for that night. The next day, the caravan group is stopped by Imperial Chief Zhou Xiao Xiong (Johnny Wang) who demands the package that one of the fighters is carrying. It turns out he is in possession of the Yin Yang swords, a powerful set of blades that, when wielded properly, can make the owners nearly invincible. After escaping, the head fighter is ambushed by the quarreling couple, who manage to steal the swords, leading them to test the weapons for their effectiveness. Unfortunately, one of the requirements is that the couple be a perfect match, and Yuen Tak and Candy Wen’s constant bickering eliminates them from being suitable owners. The swords change owners multiple times, all the time constantly being tracked by Chief Zhou for his personal gain. In the meantime Scholar Yuan and Gai Bao become close, and they all wind up at the celebration for Hero Siao, who is revealed as Gai Bao’s father. A few plot twists occur before Chief Zhou arrives as well, and a final battle for possession of the blades is fought.

I’m usually not a fan of martial art comedies, but Lovers Blades works on all fronts. The four bandits are annoying but funny, and Meng Yuen-Men is excellent as the clever Scholar Yuan. Kara Hui is luminous as usual and Johnny Wang rivals anyone that Shaw Brothers put on screen in terms of charisma and fighting skill. Even Yuen Tak and Candy Wen are enjoyable in their roles as a bickering wuxia couple. The fight scenes are all exceptional, especially the final blistering showdown between Johnny Wang and the celebration guests. The choreography is always top-notch and the use of exotic weaponry is an added bonus. Although the special effects surrounding the Yin Yang swords is a bit pedestrian, it doesn’t totally subtract from the enjoyment of the fight scenes where they are used. Overall a great addition to the Shaw library and one that deserved the remastering it got. A widespread release would be fitting as well for this title. Highly recommended.

Reviewer Score: 9