Monday, May 28, 2012

The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate - 龍門飛甲

The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (龍門飛甲) is an 2011 film out of Zhong Guo and Hong Kong. The movie stars Jet Li and Zhou Xun. The supporting cast include Chen Kun, Li Yuchun, Kwai Lun-mei, Louis Fan, and Mavis Fan. The movie is the "sequel" to the 1992 film New Dragon Gate Inn staring Tony Leung Ka-fai, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, and Donnie Yen. The movie is one of the first wuxia films in 3D.

Jet Li plays Zhou, the rebel that is causing trouble for the Ming Dynasty in the desert regions. Zhou Xun plays Ling, a wanderer in search of Zhou. The government is on the hunt for a boy and Ling saves him and leads them to the location of the Dragon Inn. The Ming soliders get there and the desert holigans are also there. All wanting a piece of the action. Zhou and Ling also make it there to bring some spice to the party.

The movie is a sequel to the 1992 version as Jet Li plays the main guy. The eunuch is now replaced by a version by Chen Kun. The movie is pretty slick in its effects and it's got a very complicated story, like the 1992 version. The two versions can and should not be compared. Why should you compare them? Tsui Hark is the reason. Why should you not. The movies are roughly 20 years apart and mainly a Zhong Guo production. You just don't have that HK silver era feel in this movie. The effects are different and the story is quite different.

I liked the movie for its bigger is better attitude. I like the fighting too. Very slick. The story on the other hand was weak and hard to follow. I think from an international level, the story is too convoluted to follow. However, a must watch for wuxia fans. A must watch for Jet Li fans.

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