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Butterfly and Sword (Xin liu xing hu die jian) (1993)

  Directed by: Michael Mak, Chi Li Tang
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Michelle Yeoh
Links: Butterfly and Sword on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 9.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"This movie includes a human bow and arrow!" - a review by timchuma

Sister Ko and Brother Sung are part of the 'Happy Forrest' martial arts clan and have been set a mission by a dying Enuch to recover a letter from the "Elite's Villa" which details plans to rebel against the Government.

When we first meet Sing, he demonstrates the technique of the 'human bow and arrow' in order to capture a crony from the rival clan. That night, we meet Ko (Michelle Yeoh) who is the leader of the clan and who then proceeds to decapitate the man Sing caught with a silk scarf.

As it turns out, Sing is happily married to Butterfly. What he has told her is that he is a merchant as her father was involved in the martial arts world and she didn't like that he killed so many people.

The next attack on the Elite's Villa by Happy Forrest does not go well; most of the clan who were involved in the attack get killed, and the one man that does get away is severely injured by the 'Flying Claw'.

For some reason there is a flashback sequence showing Sung and Ko in their childhood as well as the warrior who was injured, who, it turns out, has a secret love for Ko.

Seeing what they are up against, Ko comes up with a plan that requires Sung to go undercover. Meanwhile Elite's Villa is planning to recruit martial arts masters to go up against Happy Forrest, will they succeed or not?

This is a very good action film in the tradition of films such as Fong Sai-Yuk (1993), The Storm Riders (1998) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), except that it predates all of them by at least a few years. Certainly the audience reaction during the fight scenes showed how good they were.

I would recommend this film to people who like fast-paced action and fight sequences. Very good all round.

timchuma gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 25 Oct 2004

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