“The setting is Ming Dynasty during the reign of Chenghua (1465-1487). The court is controlled by imperial eunuchs who consolidate their power by joining either the East or West Bureaus, organs of oppression and espionage whose in-fighting resembles that of the SA and SS in Nazi Germany. Wan Yulou (Gordon Liu), an enforcer of the East Bureau, is dispatched to execute Can Qianzhi, Minister of Five Armies. His plan is thwarted by Zhao Huai’an (Li), former protege of a noble courtier who fell foul of the East Bureau. Zhao now leads a band of maverick swordsmen in such guerrilla rescue missions. Wan’s humiliating defeat gives Yu Huatian (Aloys Chen), Chief of the West Bureau, an opportunity to flex his muscles. When Su Huirong (Mavis Fan), a palace handmaid escapes after her pregnancy is discovered, the jealous imperial consort Wan Zheng’er orders Yu to kill her. Yu assembles a squad of assassins to round up Zhao’s gang under the pretext of hunting down Su.” — Maggie Lee, Hollywood Reporter
A pivotal figure in the evolution of Hong Kong cinema, action virtuoso Tsui Hark was one of the most popular and influential filmmakers ever to emerge from the Pacific Rim motion-picture community. Famed for his work’s rapid-fire pacing, gymnastic camerawork, and visceral intensity, Hark also won acclaim for his rapier wit and impressive stylistic range, moving easily from the martial arts to gangster dramas to even romance. In addition to reviving the moribund swordfighting and kung-fu genres in the early ‘90s, he was also instrumental in bringing the special effects wizardry of Western filmmaking to the East, eventually following the lead of longtime friend and associate John Woo to Hollywood.
Born Xu Wen Guang in Vietnam in 1951, Hark made his first 8 mm amateur film at the age of 13. After relocating to Hong Kong in 1966, he later attended the University of Texas, graduating in 1969. The following year he directed a documentary, From Spikes to Spindles. After relocating to New… read more
Please bring back the amazing wirework films of the nineties and spare us these cgi so-called epics that look so woefully fake. What could have been an interesting take on the dragon gate story winds up an exercise in near self parody. No real stand outs here in performance or fight choreography and exactly where do they keep these hundreds of small swords they never seem to run out of? Has it moments...but...
What took me out of this movie was the excessive use of CGI during fight scenes and that the use of 3D, like in many films, was just a gimmick. A wuxia films is all about the action and despite the cast I'm afraid it wasn't up to snuff. On a positive note some of the costume design was gorgeous.
New films by Frédéric Videau, Tsui Hark, James Marsh, Kim Nguyen and more.
FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE
DIRECTED BY: TSUI HARK
STARS: JET LI, ZHOU XUN, CHEN KUN, MAVIS FAN, LOUIS FAN SIU-WONG AND GORDON LIU
Tsui Hark returns with his WuXia epic and retelling… read review
Title: The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
Original Title: Long men fei jia
Genre: Action, Adventure
Director: Hark Tsui
Writer… read review