Clans of Intrigue

Reviewed by: Dagger Lee

May 03, 2004

Rating: four-point-five

This wuxia film from director Chu Yuan is an adaptation of Gu Long's novel, Chor Lau Heung (Chu Liu Xiang). I have not read the novel so I can't compare the two.

Ti Lung as Chor Lau Heung

Chor is a thief. One day on his boat, a group of girls from the Magic Water Palace come and accuse him of stealing the Magic Water from the palace. Chor says it wasn't him and is offered a month to bring back the robber. Meanwhile, three powerful clan leaders are mudered by a mysterious masked man and all were poisoned by the Magic Water before. Intrigued, Chor decides to find the killer as that person might be the one who stole the water.

Ti Lung is a good pick for the role. He can act well and handle the fight scenes well. The way he uses a sword impresses me a lot. The way he acts when he discovers the identity of the killer is really great. He is comparable with David Chiang and I consider him the 2nd best actor for swordsman roles in the 70s.

The fight scenes were okay. There was nothing spectacular about them but the way they were handled was good. Other films made during the same time had cheesy and fake sword fights. This movie offers some that are better. It's actually the plot that's interesting. This is the first time I have seen in a wuxia film where a plot is much better than the fights.

The plot is very well-written. It kept me guessing who the killer really was until the point when it was revealed. I was really shocked and amazed to find out who the killer was. I wonder why the plots in today's movies can't be as good. The plot is what I loved the most.

If you're a wuxia or Gu Long fan, then this is for you. I consider it a masterpiece and it shouldn't be missed.

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