Blade of Fury

An excellent sword fighting movie that makes a real effort to construct the action around a very interesting plot. At times perhaps a bit talkie and slow, but by developing the characters and the plot it pays off with some very intense painful moments.

In the opening sequence, a nationalistic Chinese group called the Black Flag Troop attack an occupying Japanese encampment. With only swords against the modern armaments of the Japanese (this is towards the end of the 19th century), this heroic group is nearly wiped out. Only their leader Brother Wu escapes and as he rides off he exclaims "the past country is no longer our country. We have no home. Where can I live in such an enormous world" and he dramatically leaps over a cliff into the chasm below.

A few years later in a small town in the provinces, a government official, Ti Lung, and his assistant Nine Catties (Cynthia Khan) get involved in a skirmish between some thieves and the Chinese Army. Brother Wu who has become a blacksmith in the town turns up to help the army. The three of them along with two members of the army decide to go to Peking where over time they become fast friends.

Troubles come when Ti Lung wants to reform the government and the friends have to choose sides. This leads to a final deadly fight. In this film there are some painful scenes - one in particular that is gripping in its pacing and outcome. The action though ferocious is unfortunately often sped up a notch too much so that at times it appears unrealistic and ridiculous though at other times it is fabulous.

Sammo Hung who directs also has a small fighting cameo as a jail guard. Rosamund Kwan also has a small role.