The Sword of Swords
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This Shaw Brothers classic, masterfully directed by Hua Shan (The 14 Amazons), is a harrowing lesson in achieving the coveted Number One sword-wielding status. Ti Lung (Opium and the Kung- Fu Master, A Better Tomorrow) is the Nameless Swordsman bent on defeating the faceless King of Swords to claim the title, and the glory, for himself. Hordes of fighters lunge from the shadows to cut down the mysterious challenger. Even a cunning seductress takes a stab at him in a revealing bath house assassination. It is said that a man s weapon reflects his utmost dreams, desires and fears. A warrior with no name and one motive has a soul as merciless as cold steel.
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I'm a huge Jimmy Wang Yu fan so inevitably I liked this movie. It's not my favorite Jimmy Wang Yu movie but it's got a nice story and LOTS OF BLOOD SPLASHY HAPPINESS!! Recommended.
While the oldest pupil wants the sword for himself, the youngest is fighting for the sword to turn it over to a man who can give it to the emperor for protection. This sword is the ultimate weapon, and so must never fall into the wrong hands as it would destroy a nation. So, it is very important that the young pupil carry out his task of getting the sword to the emperor who can protect it forever. However, in his journey to protect the sword until it gets to the emperor is a huge risk, and costs him dearly as all the people he loves and are in contact with are risking their lives to protect the sword.
I can't help but wonder how this movie came about. Yu Wang was huge in the late 60s and had just done The One-Armed Swordsman. Some executive might have said "Hey we had this huge hit where Yu Wang was disabled. Let's think of another major injury he has to overcome and it'll be a hit!" They settled on blindness, but Chang Cheh thought they were idiots, so they got someone else to direct it. I doubt this really happened, but blindness isn't the only obstacle for Yu Wang in this movie.
Well, naturally there are dozens of armed men for him to cut down. But what bothered me most here was there are so so many dumb and stubborn characters. The melodrama factor is really high too. But, I watch these for the action, and it was pretty good. The main villain, Feng Tien, admits pretty early that he's not as good as Yu Wang, but they still get a few fights out of the pair because of the villain's plans. Great here as a villain, especially what he pulls on Yu Wang near the end, oh my god.