Posted on July 15th, 2009 in Brick Prior, Movies, SHAW-A-DAY-A-THON by Brick Prior

A sword that breaks on purpose?!  How cool is that!

THE TRAILER

 

THE OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

“Armed with mystical methods of mind and body control, the nefarious Dr. Kuo uses his powers to terrorize the population with a mindless killer bent on destruction but hope lies with martial arts master Tuen Cheng-Tsin and crafty thief Ko Mun, who, aided by the Deadly Breaking Sword, set off on a high-flying, fast-kicking mission for justice!”

THIS IS WHAT I THOUGHT HAPPENED SINCE I HAD TO WATCH ACTION AND READ SUBTITLES AT THE SAME TIME, HAR HAR HAR

And we kick things off with some singing… but it’s the good kind of singing!  It’s the singing that awesomely foreshadows the plot- something about the mighty of a deadly breaking sword and the little dagger that is coming into its’ own, but oh snap, there be turmoil on the horizon!  This is what heroes are made of, for sure- songs that speak of the legendary feats that you are about to see.  Imagine if… hrm… if “Pirates of the Caribbean” (the first one) started off with a song about Jack Sparrow’s exploits before you got to see said exploits.  Cheesy, yes… badass, triple yes with a badass kick to spare.

This one starts out with Tuen Cheng-Tsin (played by Ti Lung) dragging a coffin to face his latest opponent, Lian San- aka the Throat Piercing Halberd. 

Someone make a dick joke, because I refuse to do so.

San asks why he drags a coffin, and Tuen responds that it’s a duel to the death, so he wants to show that he’s serious.  That, and well… it’s his gimmick.  All fighters must have gimmicks, you dig?  Anyway, they fight, and Tuen uses his namesake sword (that being the Deadly Breaking Sword) to stab San in the chest, and breaks it off in him as well.  San flees, and Tuen ruminates on the fact that he didn’t die.  Damn right he didn’t die, as San heads towards a man known as The Killer Doctor, who gets him all patched up lickety split- no one’s ever been able to save someone from the effects of the Deadly Breaking Sword, so this is a bit of a TWIST~!. 

I wonder if this will affect things down the road…

Anyway!

We go right to our other lead, namely Alexander Fu Sheng as Xiao Dao (or Ko Mun in Cantonese, I believe… I watched the Mandarin version), aka the Little Dagger, aka Hamming It Up Old School Jackie Chan style, as he’s a gambler looking to, well, make money.  He also humiliates people left and right, which is a plus.  Dao’s in a bit of debt, so the Gambling House he’s at makes him an exclusive player (see, this is how the World Series of Poker got started) until he can pay things off.  Meanwhile, the Deadly Breaking Sword rolls into town, resting a bit before he has another battle ahead of him.  There’s a funny moment where Dao is shining the jewel on Tuan’s horse, and the Deadly Breaking Sword is all, “WTF”, and Dao’s just going nuts about the jewel, plotting to steal it later, of course.

Things progress- Tuan beats down his challengers, breaking off more of his sword into them (no jokes please), as things start coming to light- one of the women at the Gambling House/brothel wants revenge on the Killer Doctor for doublecrossing her brother, and needs to figure out how to get him out of prison.  Cue the Deadly Breaking Sword, who realizes that people are being manipulated, and he heads off to set things right, while Dao just bumbles his way through things, trying to get out of his contract with the Gambling House.

This leads to him tossing a broad down a well in retaliation for burning up all his money.

Seriously.

The endgame happens as the Deadly Breaking Sword goes to face the Killer Doctor, who has a secret weapon in a revitalized Lian San, now sporting red and white hair and wanting revenge.  The two fight and grievously wound each other, but it looks like San got the worst of it until the Killer Doctor uses his acupuncture skills to revive him once more, sending him into a killing frenzy!

Cue Xiao Dao!

Dao shows up and eggs the fighter on, even as the Deadly Breaking Sword tells him not to.  The fighters clash, with Dao having the upper hand eventually thanks to a stalk of bamboo, but he gets too careless and is run through by San’s halberd.  The Deadly Breaking Sword pulls himself up off the ground, gets behind San, and yanks the needles out San’s shoulder with his teeth before killing him outright.  The Killer Doctor tries to flee, but the Deadly Breaking Sword tosses San’s halberd about forty-five feet right through the doctor’s back, taking him out of the picture.

Dao struggles to get up, but he’s finished.  All he wants is someone to buy him some nice clothes, as he never had any during his whole life.  Tuen Cheng-Tsin goes to grab his hand, but misses as Dao dies, as the movie ends.

Downer?

Yes.

Awesome?

Fuck yes.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS MOVIE

It’s easy to see why Alexander Fu Sheng was a megastar during the time period- here he brings the funny, and is quite awesome with his dagger to boot.  It’s a role that could have been underplayed, but he plays it to the fullest, always chewing scenery or twirling his dagger idly or bringing something else to the movie besides the usual comedy relief that said character could have been.  On the other side of the equation, we have Ti Lung, who is just as majestic as always- it’s odd to consider this as him being on the downward spiral of his career at this point, because he does an outstanding job as the wandering swordsman with ethics all his own.

The fight choreography is refreshing here, as there’s not a lot of wirework to be found- instead the focus is on the actual physicality of the fights, with slow motion and zooms being used to dramatic effect.  I think the old school form of action choreography is a long lost art, so to be able to see films like that and actually marvel as the filmmakers pull the camera back and show the footwork involved in such set pieces is a wonderful thing to behold.

Then again, I’m an old fuddy duddy, so what do I know?

Let me tell you.

Pictures!

A BROKEN SHARD OF SWORD

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LET… ME… THINK…

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LADY GO DOWN THE HOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE

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HEARTBREAKING STUFF

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TOMORROW

If my mobile broadband wants to cooperate, it’ll be back to WACKY LAND~! as I take a look at “The Battle Wizard”.  If not, then I shall return on Sunday after destroying Otakon with my awesome powers.  How will I make up for three days off?  We’ll find out if or when it happens!