Swordsman (HK 1990)

Rating: ****
Producer: Tsui Hark
Director: King Hu, Tsui Hark, Ching Siu Tung, Raymond Lee
Cast: Sam Hui, Cecilia Yip, Jacky Cheung, Cheung Man, Yuen Wah, Fennie Yuen, cameos by Wu Ma, Lam Ching Ying

A sprawling and sometimes confusing swordplay epic about a sacred scroll that everyone's trying to get their hands on, and the schemes, loyalties, and betrayals that are the end result. And we get to hear "Book Of Heroes" over and over again. Sam Hui plays the light-hearted swordsman who stumbles into the whole mess and Cecilia Yip is his young and somewhat inexperienced partner. Jacky Cheung does an excellent job of playing a cunning villain, but then again, most of the characters in the film are cunning villains. An amazingly seductive Cheung Man plays the ruler of the Highlanders, aided by her equally pretty aide, Blue Phoenix (Fennie Yuen). Fun and well made, but a little long and tedious.