Once again, I find myself standing against a bunch of other reviewers. This film is surreal and wacky. It is played, for the most part, way over the top, and quite deliberately so. The madness occasionally falls into the background and the story gets serious - these are the only bits which fall flat. Other than them, this film is a hoot !
Reviewer Score: 9
The pace mostly ranges between manic and furious, apart from a few very slow scenes in the last one-third, which ARE truly awful. The action choregraphy and flying people stuff is terrific in every sense, and I admit to being a sucker for all that wu'xia stuff.
And the photography is just glorious. Definitely one of the better looking HK wild actioners. Instead of saying it's bad, I'd place this film among the best of HK mo lau tai (nonsense comedy), and even in the same league as that terrific eye-candy wu'xia confuser MAIDENS OF HEAVENLY MOUNTAINS.
Like every HK wild comedy, including all those which do and don't work, SOTS 2 draws material from all over the place. Films to be parodied include the original GOD OF GAMBLERS trilogy, CHINESE GHOST STORY (which Richard Ng playing the bad guy !), MONKEY and even Kubrick's 2001.
And what happened to Shirley Kwan ? Wow, what a dish ! Damn those bubbles getting in the way during her bath scene.
I agree that this film has little to do with the original SOTS, although there are a few visual devices which it borrows, such as walking on flying swords. However, read my review of SOTS I, and you'll see I was far from impressed by it. I think the only time SOTS I worked was when Aaron Kwok was on screen, whereas SOTS is, apart from a few mawkish bits near the end, terrific fun all the way.
Just a note that much of the filming was done in British Columbia and the Yukon.
I shake my head in bemusement at these other guys who don't seem to have got the joke. Certainly it's not a film for everyone. Nevertheless, I have no hesitation in rating this one as Highly Recommended.