What this flick lacks in fight scenes it more than makes up for in story line. It contains vengeance, sorry, hope, compassion and triumph over evil. Starring Eddie Peng Yu-yan as legendary Chinese hero Wong Fei Hung (the main character Jet Li played in the once upon a time in china trilogy) and Sammo Hung as the main villain (also a co producer).
The fight scenes are few and far between and have a bit too much obvious wire work for my liking. But having said that they are good scenes, nothing spectacular however they do include some very clever and original camera angles, that gives the audience a feel of actually being in the action.
The fight sequences consist mainly of sword play and hand to hand combat, not many over the top sexy kicks or other weapons to speak of except for an iron staff (ouch). It seems the main goal of this story was to portray the humility of the great folk hero. Sammo still manages to hold his own for an old guy and Eddie really shows some great potential. My favorite action scene is the clever way of decapitation, I won’t go into detail at risk of spoiling said scene.
The plot tells of Wong Fei hung and his story of when he was young, set in 1868 he would have been in his early 20’s. The general emphasis of the story is the struggle to overcome evil by infiltrating the evil doers and crippling them where it matter most.
The story line is not overly predictable and will have some of the more sensitive viewers shedding a tear or two in the crucial moments. There are some crucial plot reveals detailed in the most surprising and heart wrenching ways. The two main female protagonists could have used a bit more character development but oh well, maybe there was time/budget restrictions?
All in all this a great watch that appeals to a wider audience, it has a bit of action, philosophy, suspense and tear jerking moments that will have you glued to the screen. The ending sets the scene for a sequel – considering this film gave an old story a fresh feel and the potential for greatness from Eddie Peng Yu-yan – a sequel may not be a bad idea…