September 13, 2004
Crazy martial arts fantasy. Even though 100 minutes isn't particularly short for this type of film, it feels like they only had time for about one third of the plot and just crammed in the rest without worrying too much about whether it would make sense or not. The film is a continuous roller coaster that blazes through fantasy-driven fights and complex intrigues.
Six clans and a handful of outsiders battle it out against each other. It's not easy to keep track of the alliances being formed, all the fights, their conclusions and the constantly shifting intrigue, but ultimately it didn't matter to me. The action is amazing, the spectacle is grand and the pacing is so crazy that I could only sit back and be impressed.
The only awkward thing is that the film ends mid-battle. Apparently the sequel was binned after this film performed badly at the box office, so you're left with an unfinished story. Not a film I'd recommend to martial arts novices, but if you love the high-speed, high-octane Hong Kong martial arts cinema, this is one of the craziest you'll find.