I enjoyed this film a lot. This is probably one of my favorites so far because of the storyline being so engaging and very easy to follow. It is quite different from King Hu’s previous films, and I think that is what made it fresh for me. This showed King Hu’s talent beyond many of his experimentations in his previous films. By this I mean that there was never really any moments in the film that I felt was exaggerated so much to the point that it was awkward. We still saw some of the regular King Hu touches in this film, such as the type of sound effects used in the action scenes and some flying, but also that cast.
What was also fresh about this film is that a few of the main characters are actually new faces to King Hu’s films at that point in his career. The new monk, Chiu Ming who becomes the new Abbot Hui Ming, is a very likeable character. This is something that I think King Hu does really well with in all of his films. The actors/actresses always seem to fit very well in their roles.
I can’t recall his name in the film, but Hui Lo Chen did a great job as his role in playing one of the bad guy’s annoying little helper. Without these actors/actresses, this movie would not be as perfect.
I liked the fact the a woman, or women, still had a significant role in the story and especially in the end, but once again, it was different and “fresh” as the story was not so typical for a King Hu film.