The Bare-Footed Kid (1993)
Reviewed by: pjshimmer on 2005-04-22
Summary: Ng Sin-Lin looks horrible in the greatest of all films
A while ago someone asked me what I consider a good wuxia film. After some consideration of some 75+ wuxia movies I'd seen, my pick went to Barefoot Kid.

Why Barefoot Kid, why not Swordsman II or Hero (2002)? My reasons for selecting Barefood as an outstanding example of wuxia lie in the way I see the film: flawless in every aspect. There is nothing I can complain about the music, the story, the characters, the acting, or the execution. Also, I think a wuxia film works better if the protagonist resembles anti-hero. Here, Aaron Kwok is an abandoned soul in a world of injustice and corruption. He wants to do the right thing and to earn respect, but he isn't aware of the consequences of accepting the easiest path. He makes a mistake. In essence, he represents the vulnerable side of human kind, while still embodying the quality of a wuxia hero--honorable and always helpful.

I mentioned this movie flawless, but it isn't perfect. I felt it failed to deliver good action. Except for Ti Lung's demonstration just before his tragedy, the fight scenes are quite mediocre. Liang uses a lot of slow motion and up-closes and too much editting. Aaron Kwok never shows he can do kung fu (which he can't, of course). It seems that Liu Chia Liang just thought "we'll let wire do all the work." So this film would probably fail on the sole basis of a martial arts actioner.

Fortunately, this movie is not to be judged that way. I was really surprised how great it was, considering its limited popularity.

Reviewer Score: 10