The Storm Riders (1998)
Reviewed by: timktai on 2003-07-29
Summary: A compilation movie, and not a good one
First the bad:

From the opening shot, you can tell this was shot on video, and transferred poorly to film. Computer effects were overused, are already outdated, and don't have enough style to compensate. Awful stereotyped gay guy. An under-talented cast. A romance that doesn't work.

This is also the first movie out of HK that I've been disappointed with the "martial arts". Why the quotes? This movie's thankfully-brief fight scenes are figures flailing in blurry slow motion.

I've seen a lot of compilation movies ("Movies" made up from scenes from a TV series), and Storm Riders has all the hallmarks of one: Editing and pacing problems since the scenes were all shot for hour long episodes. A plot that tries to cover too much ground. Characters seem to have interacted offscreen.

Now the good:

There were lots of things that I'll speculate were taken from the comic: The villain, Hung Ba, the Mud Buddha, and Saint of Swords more than make up for a weak and forgettable set of heroes. Some of the images are powerful: the Graveyard of Swords, an entire city poisoned, the Frost essence from the Ancestor. I actually liked the Dragon.

Overall though, the good isn't enough to outweigh the bad and the massive hype this movie gets for some strange reason. I'd recommend giving this one a pass.