Director Andy Lau tries to build a suspenseful story mostly told in flashback, but ends up making a long and convuluted movie that tends to be hard to follow, and not fun.
There are several martial arts scenes. Some are very impressive. Some implement bad to very bad CG very much influenced by THE MATRIX and other hit movies of that era. Now for the most part I found these scenes funny and enjoyable much like the classic fantastical wuxia flicks of Shaw Brothers golden era, but not everyone might be as inclined.
Eric Cheng is servicable and talented as Hero, but the movie tends to go too long and focus on scenes where we obviously only need a few moments.
My favorite moments were mostly the few short scenes with HK legend Yuen Biao — he gets to show off his still impressive skills and is a very lovable character. Anthony Wong also appears as Hero’s former master and enjoyable to watch. As I watched the movie my interest continued to wane until the predictably bad CG finale mercifully puts it to an end. The subplot at the workers’ mine, while completely unnecessary, helps inject some action in an otherwise sleepy story.
Should I Watch it?
What starts as an interesting plot and period piece slowly disentigrates into a slow, confusing mash up of flash backs and silly character plots, with a few redeeming action scenes and humorously bad CG scenes.
Movie Rating: (2 / 5) Kung Fu Rating: (2 / 5)