What Price Survival (1994)
Reviewed by: pjshimmer on 2001-12-23
Summary: Excellent movie
Innovative, stylish, different, and deep are the keywords to this little known HK modern swordplay extravagenza. A true masterpiece comparable to Once Upon a Time in China might have been the result had a bigger budget been given. It is somewhere between Ashes of Time and Legend of the Wolf, but easily superior to both. There's lightning-fast action and lots of melodrama, and an awkward fight-to-get-away scene half way through the film (to cool the seriousness) was cleverly apropos.

What a really, really bad year 1994 was for martial arts movies. Most of them lost money, and from 1995 on there was hardly any produced. Still, "What Price Survival" is one of my favorites from this year. I will even say that I prefer it to Drunken Master II, just because of its fantasy settings. Honestly, it's been a while since I've seen a 100% swordplay movie set in modern times, and the scene with David Chiang facing a gang playing swords while riding on motorcycles was hilarious. BTW, this is no doubt David Chiang's best movie, even though he doesn't play the central character (the protagonist).

A definite winner, 2 thumbs up.