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Swordsman III: East is Red
   |     review    |     availability     |     also see      |
Joey Wong does the Asia the Invincible thing
  
Year: 1993
Director: Ching Siu-Tung, Raymond Lee Wai-Man
Producer: Tsui Hark
Action: Dion Lam Dik-On, Ma Yuk-Sing
Cast: Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia, Joey Wong Cho-Yin, Yu Rong-Guang, Lau Shun, Jean Wong Ching-Ying, Eddy Ko Hung, Yuen King-Tan
The Skinny: Bizarre and over-the-top, this "sequel" to the Swordsman flicks brings back Asia the Invincible (Brigitte Lin), but inserts her in a plot that makes little sense. Visually stunning, but a disappointment when compared to Swordsman II.
Review
by Kozo:
     The further adventures of Invincible Asia (Brigitte Lin) are more grand, but less accessible. This new film jettisons the characters from the earlier pics, and features Yu Rong-Guang as Officer Koo, and Joey Wong as Snow, a former lover of the bisexual Asia. Many factions are out for Asia's secret scrolls, but Asia turns out be alive and living well. Unfortunately, there are also Asia the Invincible imposters (including Snow), which angers Asia to no end. She goes postal, takes out untold thousands in a murderous rage, and then retires from the World of Martial Arts—again.
      Ching Siu-Tung's wacky flying action makes this a visual spectacular, but the screwy plot involves white-skinned Japanese ninjas and evil midgets, among other strange plot devices. It would have been nice for the filmmakers to follow up Swordsman II, which had an ending which was ripe with possibilities. This new film has just as much political subtext (East is Red...what do you suppose that means?), but the overall product is more camp classic than political kung-fu metaphor.
     That said, the film is also somewhat of a camp masterpiece, with screwy action and other assorted weirdness. The histrionics fly fast and furious in this film, which makes it hard to take seriously. Yu Rong-Guang makes strange faces instead of actually acting, though the two female leads (Brigitte Lin and Joey Wong) are beautiful and embody their roles with regal screen presence and gravity. This flick is great spectacle, if nothing else. (Kozo 1995)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English, Chinese, Japanese Subtitles
Also see:

Swordsman (1990)
Swordsman II (1992)

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd.

   
 
 
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