The Legend of the Swordsman Movie Review

A decade before Crouching Tiger, Jet Li was flying and spinning impossibly in this ninja/kung fu/sorcerer kinda story. Although it has none of the production values of the movies it inspired, The Legend of the Swordsman (actually a sequel to an earlier film, made with an entirely different cast) is often entertaining, though equally often is tiresome.

Li stars as Ling Wei, a member of a religious sect trying to get out of the world of violence. Of course, the sect stumbles upon a war and find themselves embroiled in it, replete with supernatural battles and high-flying choreography.

The actual plot is a total throwaway -- a mere excuse to get Jet into battle -- whether that's flying through the air in a corkscrew spin or travelling underground with his sword in the air like a shark fin. Wow, this guy has some moves, and when he explodes out of a tree, well, we might not believe it for a second, but it sure is interesting.

Not so for the grandiose yet ultimately stupid story, of course. The Legend of the Swordsman is eye candy for the sword-happy freak in you, and nothing more.

Aka Xiao ao jiang hu zhi dong fang bu bai.


The Legend of the Swordsman Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 1991


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