Flying Dagger (1993)
Reviewed by: Trigger on 2001-11-20
Summary: 9/10
Flying Dagger is a riot! The plot is somewhere between Chinese Odyssey and Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain. Substitute Stephen Chow for Tony Leung and you have a classic Stephen Chow film. However, Tony Leung was so funny I don't think that's necessary. It's about some bounty hunters who try to capture the #1 bandit and they all end up fighting together against a common evil enemy. I think this film was intended to be mostly serious and ambitious, but quickly fell apart.

It starts out fairly serious with some decent flying swordplay circa '93 and as the film progresses, silly jokes start to come out. It seems like the cast was just having a blast making the film. I picture them setting out to make yet another flying swords film and then elements of the plot and characters began to strike them as being funny, so they started to joke about things off screen - and with Wong Jing there, I'm sure it didn't take long before they started to change the dialogue and improvise some funny bits and degenerate the film into some Zucker brothers comedy where the jokes reach the maturity level of those found in Airplane or Naked Gun or even Dude, Where's My Car.

This film has lots of pee jokes and sex jokes and contemporary references even some inside jokes about the actors in the film (not just the characters they play) - it just looks like one of those films that was a blast to make. I laughed alot throughout the film. It seemed to be shot without a script - only a basic outline to follow. This one is a classic as I'm sure many of you have already seen it - having just seen it myself for the first time, I can tell you that this one's a keeper and I'm going to be watching it alot. With Ng Man Tat in it, I kept expecting to see Stephen Chow pop up somewhere and do something funny, but he never did. It doesn't matter cuz this one is right up there with Stephen Chow's funniest films.

Apart from being hilarious, this film still managed to maintain a high production value (for the time) and had some great fighting sequences. Some would argue that the swordfighting was weak, but I found it to be just as good as other films from the time period. There were some decent effects in the film as well. I thought the wire work was top notch and I'm surprised some people thought it fell way below the standards. The acting isn't something to measure because I think most of the film they were goofing off, but this is an all-star cast of some of the bigger names in HK and I think they all did a fine job at the times they were taking their roles seriously.

The DVD is acceptable for the type of film it is - It's among the better of Mei Ah releases given that they aren't known for high quality or options. Mei Ah being a no-frills DVD publisher, they seemed to treat this film with a little bit of respect compared to some other titles they've put out as there are subtitle and sound options.

I give this one two thumbs up and say it's Highly Recommended... just don't expect a serious wire-fu flying swordsman film - just watch it expecting to laugh and be entertained for an hour and a half.
Reviewer Score: 9