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Sword Identity

38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In the Southern Chinese city of Guancheng, during the Ming Dynasty, there lived four families, each of them faithful keepers of martial arts. Anyone who wants to establish a new form or technique of kung fu has to fight their way through the families' gates. But when one man's request is rejected, he will be put through a series of fights, determined to prove that his sword is invincible.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0087AOYG6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,430 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By THE MOVIE GUY on August 25, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This is another Chinese film that had me scratching my head. The bad guys in this are the Japanese, who we never see. There is discussion and fighting among the various martial arts schools and the military as to what weapon and technique to use against the Japanese. A sword copied from the Japanese and altered in China is being promoted by one man, who is thought of as a Japanese pirate. Hence the title.

The movie appears to have some levity by design in an attempt to keep the action/drama from becoming too boring. However the foreign humor is well...foreign humor and only the slapstick aspect translates well.

The martial arts aspect of the film is stressed in some minor fighting hints in a technique the old master calls, "Shadow and Sound." The film appears to have some Chinese cultural appeaL that is not universal unless the theme is pirating from foreign countries is okay for the defense of the nation. The fighting is minimal and even the women who dress in red, found it boring. I had a hard time developing an interest in the plot.

PARENTAL GUIDE: No F-bombs, sex, or nudity. There are some scenes which imply sex is about to happen which is part of the levity.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hui Shen ben Israel on December 28, 2012
Format: DVD
THE SWORD IDENTITY (Orig. title WO KOU DE ZONG JI, 2011, 111 minutes) must be one of the most simultaneously rewarding and downright confusing martial arts films ever conceived. A master from China conversant with its history might appreciate this in full. I could only appreciate it in pieces, or rather, piecemeal. Set in the Ming Dynasty - though I rather question both the costumes I saw and the dialect as I heard it - an argument sets in among the martial arts school masters as to how to deal with a Japanese pirate who has infiltrated the unidentified city.

To simplify the background: a military general had previously perfected a technique that would defeat the Japanese katana as it was back then. Another general, and I think this was the first general's brother, developed a technique that would defeat the warrior rather than the sword. The third Maguffin is a military strategy: an attack formation to defeat the Japanese "pirates". The martial arts technique was designed to beat their sword. At least that is how I saw it and understood it. The trouble is, in one of the martial arts schools, the leader, once a general, copied then altered the katana design.

This was considered "evil" by the Chinese who later forbade its use. As I see it, the actual Japanese "pirate" - who is one of the young martial arts masters serving under the general who reengineered the sword - is trying to prove to the Chinese authorities that the sword system should be treasured and taught. You know, in case the Japanese ever decided to come calling. Oh, and this young whippersnapper also wants the "anti-Japanese" techniques to be officially taught. He is the most confusing character of all.

At least the film showed some Chinese and Japanese martial arts etiquette as I was taught them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erik C. Pihl on October 18, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When is a sword not a sword? That is a question asked by this film. In a land of tradition (and traditional weapons), how does something new get added to the mix? This interesting film tries to show some of the ways in which that question could be answered. A good, off-beat look at a martial arts genre film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Kwok on July 7, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
An deeply philosophical take on marital arts. Not your usual fare. Prepare for a martial film that's not focused on fights but ideas
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By edwin ramos on September 22, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I did not like it. too slow, pretty boring, nedded more sword fighting.i saw three quarters of it had to stop watching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Hayes on August 12, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very good acting, action when it was needed. The master fighters (the two who fought it out in the end) were very skillful. They brought the story together in the end. It was in a way too drawn out. The same story could have been shorter with more skills performed by the main fighters to build up to the climatic duel. The better kung fu movies show more of the skills of the main actors before their final fight. I think there should have been more action in the movie because it was really rather slow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Frugal Gearhead on June 11, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great Insightful Martial Arts Movie. It's NOT the typical Wire-Fu, CGI'd extravaganza. The pacing may seem a little slow, but it's Not a "Chop-Socky" movie. Martial artists (particularly practitioners of Internal Martial Arts trained in Combat Usage) will appreciate it. This film is a bit more philosophical than most.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Randy on May 3, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
NO action scenes very lame if any
no plot or story

Just simply a waste of time and money

Buy at your own risk
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