Andy Lau has become a staple in Asian cinema. His films have varied from drama to action and he pulls them all off with little to now effort. At first the trailer for this film seemed a bit all over the place, but then seemed to do something unique, it turned into something new and original. Could this be a francise in the making or will it just be another martial arts period film that falls through the cracks?
This movie lived up to it’s trailer on every level. The easiest way to describe this film is that it is a cross between Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Sherlock Holmes. The story itself is a mystery that is handled very well and keeps you guessing on some levels. One thing that usually ends up being an issue with this genre is the confusing storylines, but here it is complex, but easy to follow while maintaining some unique twists and mystery. On the other side of this film it delivers some great martial arts sequences. Lau does a great job as usual and really makes this character his own. This is one of those movies that is easily designed to have future installments. The visuals of this movie are on the huge scale and look amazing. Alongside the typical wire work used in these period action films, they had some pretty decent CGI effects as well.
Overall this is one of the better films in this genre in some time. Rarely do you get a film like this that mixes the mystery and martial arts genre that works on such an amazing level. This is a great movie and one that could easily be enjoyed by both fans and non fans of martial arts films.