Stormriders Aka Fung Wan: Hung Ba Tin Ha
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The Storm Riders is a 1998 Hong Kong wuxia fantasy film based on the manhua series Fung Wan by artist Ma Wing-shing. Directed by Andrew Lau, it starred Ekin Cheng as Wind and Aaron Kwok as Cloud. The plot involves two children, Whispering Wind and Striding Cloud, who become powerful warriors under the evil Lord Conqueror's tutelage. The sequel to the film, titled The Storm Warriors and directed by the Pang brothers, was released in 2009.
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There's a certain amount of irritation in the first sword fight due to an intentional 'strobe' effect. Fortunately they give up on that very quickly and the balance of the film is good Chinese fantasy and 'wire fu'. This is not Wuxia, at least not in the strictest sense, since everybody involved is some sort of royal personage (the early part is a brief exception, since one of the primary characters comes from a swordsmith but becomes a royal later).
It should be noted this is based on a Hong Kong comic book series. I think that initial irritating sword fight is a bow to that. At the very end there is also a brief nod.
The cast is very good. The language is Cantonese, but I listen to the Mandarin dub (I understand a very little bit of Mandarin and English subtitles fill in the many blanks).
A special nod to Sonny Chiba. He was so well made up I needed to stare awhile before I recognized him. It's a little strange watching him in Cantonese and listening in Mandarin. It was especially strange because his lips synced well with the Mandarin dub...
It's obviously a television drama edited quite poorly with lots of action, wuxia wire action included, good looking actors and a somewhat confusing plot. If it's a sequel I suppose that explains some of the problems because people pop in and the main characters know them but we've no idea who they are or if they're bad or good though we assume they must be friends or enemies or both depending upon their actions. At one point they're all together a la power rangers forming a giant sword and I didn't have a clue who they were or how Wind even got there working to help the bad guy. I also didn't realize Wave was the brother of Cloud (I think) until much later in the story. It would have packed much more of an emotional punch if I'd known from the beginning but maybe because I was so bored it got past me somehow!?
When Wind becomes a demon there's no explanation as to how long or when he changes back to normal or even how. He's with Mung, his wife one minute then not the next, she adopts a boy and then he's never seen again until it's his cue to warn her inadvertently that the master has a cold behind. It's just a hodge podge of scenes thrown together that leave you wondering how he or she did/got so and so. I wouldn't recommend this movie at all.
It's filmed more like a soap opera, has that video feel to it and it's simply edited horribly. I was bored waiting to see when Takeshi would appear thinking perhaps he was the nameless one but I couldn't even figure out who the nameless one was. Maybe if they'd followed through with that, whoever they wanted as the nameless one, it might have given it more of a punch. A perfect way to waste one's time.
This IS the film about wind, cloud, storm, and frost who control an elemental force each with cloud having the water manipulation power, frost having ice powers and storm having a few powers. also in this film is the graveyard of magical swords everyone is always asking about same with the above water fighting. the special effects are truly excellent sadly this is a chinese version (region 0 aka free) and seemed to work fine on all players including the newer model sony ps2's so this is the wind and cloud disc everyone is looking for.
This is a story of a japanese warlord seeking to become the supreme ruler of the entire province. however there is a legend of 2 boys that will be born with legendary power and if he finds them they will unite his power throughout the land for the next 10 years.. however this is only the first part of the legend the 2nd part is stuck in an enchanted puzzle box that takes 10 years to solve. when solved it reveals that when wind and cloud join forces they will become a storm to end lord conquerer.
thus the battle begins with again I say superb special effects and a asian style sword and the sorcerer type of film and some of the magical sword effects are truly amazing especally since things like this I have only ever seen done in videogames NOT Movies. it's a masterpiece and while there is an english dubbed version out there I prefer the true format it started out as without any edits and this IS IT!!!
5 star special effects
5 star sound and presentation
the kung fu theater acting you expect 4 stars
overall: a must own title with some blood and gore and a few godlike scenes of violence that may mar this film for a few fans of the film (like me) will be thrilled to get this full unedited version of this rare gem.
buy it here!
The Storm Riders