Andrew Lau is best known for his crime films, but he never had any trouble switching to other genres. The Duel sees him take on a fantastical martial arts story, with some famous faces to draw in the big crowds. Like most of Lau's films, it is a perfectly fine and entertaining film, but it can't really compete with the best in the genre.
Yeh is a skilled sword master who decides to make a little comeback. He wants to fight Snow, a famous master who lives in the Palace. The fight is planned for New Year's eve, but in the run-up to the fight strange events take place around the castle. Yeh is the obvious suspect, so he'll have to clear his name before he can concentrate on his actual goal.
Having actors like Andy Lau and Zhao Wei on board is always a bonus, even when your film relies quite heavily on fantastical fights to impress its audience. Think Storm Warriors or Zu Warriors, with a little goofy comedy on the side. The effects can be a little flaky and the ending is a bit too serious, but other than that, I had a really good time with this one.