An ousted king fleeing his evil brother is saved by an honest peasant fisherman who attempts to help him reach the lands of his ally.
Directed by Sammo Hung, this film is a real throwback to the pre-Crouching Tiger days when Hong Kong cinema was a no-nonsense crowd pleasing blend of energetic martial arts, cheesy humour and romantic musical montage. Although the story sounds grand, it’s really a message about individual friendship and loyalty; that we’re all essentially the same under the skin and honour and justice are the most important qualities. It features a very young and handsome Andy Lau and reminds you of just how formidable a physical performer he used to be. Although very exaggerated, the fight sequences all look very authentic in these times of stunt men and CGI and the acrobatics of everyone involved are extremely impressive; including a particularly stunning Maggie Cheung.
The story is simplistic and episodic of course, but it has a naive sincerity that’s quite endearing and fills the time til the next flurry of fists and swords well enough. Plus where else are you likely to see a Kung Fu killer whale?!