Thursday, August 21, 2008

Last Hurrah for Chivalry review

Kao, a well-off swordsman bitter from the murder of his family, hires a swordsman, Chang, to take his revenge for him. Meanwhile Chang befriends a compulsive drinker and soon the truth begins to reveal itself through hidden motives and double-dealings.

The Good?
The fight choreography is a superb blend of swords and fists, superior to many Shaw Brothers flicks with its modern, more realistic tinge. The cinematography showcased the full visual beauty of the fight, instead of relying on stifling insert close-ups prevalent in contemporary Hollywood films and corner-cutting martial arts films.

John Woo just keeps pushing the climactic action. You finally think there’s one fight left and then 20 more men pop out. He knows what fans love and keeps on rewarding us with constant variety, epic odds and pleasing pay-offs.

The Bad?
An incredibly cheesy, simple plot typical of kung-fu films. Some interesting twists occur in the second half, but the storytelling is very surface and not too involving.

The pacing of the film is very uneven with a slow first-half concentrating on uninteresting plot development that is difficult to tread through. This space should have been filled with more fights or an actual story worth telling.


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