Swordsman (1990)
Reviewed by: pjshimmer on 2005-10-20
In my eyes, This is one of the most profoundly groundbreaking movies in HK cinema history. The most impressive part is that King Hu, whose career peaked in the late 60s, is the genius responsible for this 90s new wave pioneer.

This may very well be the precursor to the post 1990 wuxia/wire/flying extravagenzas that followed. You name it: Butterfly Sword, Magic Crane, Royal Tramp, Blade of Fury, and of course the Swordsman sequels--they all share more stylistic similarities with this movie than any movie before (that I've seen). Only King Hu could have come out with yet another pioneer 20+ years after Dragon Gate Inn and A Touch of Zen. He is truly one of martial arts' biggest influences. For the record, I am not necessarily a fan of King Hu, and I never liked this movie, but the more I see it, the more I appreciate its foundational influence on the genre.

I will mention the main problem that distracted me: like most HK movies, this one is fast paced. It's not confident enough like its successor to use the furious pace as a competitive advantage; in the end it doesn't quite capture the moment, and we do not become one with the characters.