I am not sure why this flick fell under the reviewers radar, but it sure as heck deserve some accolades for it's exposition of fantastic swordplay combined with some novel shapes .Now mind you, I am not a member of the MENG FEI fan club , but suffice it to say,he is in great form in this piece. The movie is loaded with talent ; and when you have the likes of LUNG FEI (baddie)---buddha assassinator; snake in the eagle's shadow 2 ;LIU PING ----chivalrous inn; shaolin kung fu mystagogue ;PHILLIP KAO FEI ---invincible armour; eagle's claw : ALLAN HSU---born invincible; shaolin temple against lama; DORIS CHEN--heroes of shaolin; beggars of no equal and with our lead man TSUNG HUA --eunuch of the western palace; judgement of an assassin, it is very hard to pass up an opportunity without as much as a casual examination of the content of their work .
The story is as convoluted and at times trite as your typical run of the mill kung fu epic. However, it surrounds an imperial official (MENG FEI) who is sent by imperial sources to un-cover treachery within royal circles ......(no kidding ). MENG FEI finds an un-usual ally in TSUANG HUA and it seems they have a common enemy .............LUNG FEI .The pace of the movie is pretty decent and the settings and costumes are not bad either . However the martial arts, -mostly swordplay , is of the highest order .
Highlights for me are :
Fight between TSUNG HUA and MENG FEI......a classic exhibition of
of shapes and swordplay.
Fight between TSUNG HUA and PHILLIP KAO FEI.....a brief but solid
appearance by the
shapes master himself.
Climatic fight between TSUNG HUA ,MENG FEI, DORIS CHEN versus baddie LUNG FEI.................a treat for ol' skool lovers like myself.
My reviews are pretty formulaic , I typically review movies I like and those that doesn't set my world ablaze, normally gets a comment or two in the forum section. This is a movie to enjoy, and If ,like me, you are not a MENG FEI fan, then this is an opportunity to see him in a completely different light.
The FLK print is 'above average', but I did manage to secure a copy from 'white tiger of ny', which is a little better ...(no dis-respect to the flk posse of course)....
This flick goes by several different names , the title TO CATCH AN EAGLE BY THE CLAWS seems most consistent with the theme of the film and the same title can be used to view highlights of the film on youtube.
A definite must see and must have folks, whether you are a fan of the genre or not ; this is pure ol' skool fun