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Butterfly Sword

88 minutes
action, adventure, fantasy, romance

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This entry created 20 April 2022. Last revised on 20 April 2022.

646 hits since 19 Apr 2022
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
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Butterfly Sword

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I recently picked up this "special edition" DVD of this movie, also known as Butterfly Swords, Butterfly and Sword, and the original title Xin liu xing hu die jian. It's a remake of 1976's Killer Clans, both based on "a popular swordfighting novel by Ku Lung."

As the movie eventually explains, several street children formed a kung-fu alliance to survive, and now as adults are a powerful group serving a kung-fu master in the middle of a fight for kung-fu dominance (there's also a subplot about the Emperor trying to control the factions).

Master Sing (Tony Leung) is a kung-fu warrior masquerading as a merchant. He loves Butterfly (Joey Wang), the daughter of a kung-fu chief, but she is opposed to kung-fu. Sister Ko (Michelle Yeoh) is the boss of their kung-fu group, and she secretly loves Master Sing. Yip Cheung (Donnie Yen) is another warrior in their group, brooding due to his unrequited love for Sister Ko.

Under the direction of a kung-fu master, Sister Ko directs her minions to infiltrate and fight rival kung-fu clans.

To be honest, the plot doesn't make a lot of sense. So just enjoy a lot of over-the-top kung-fu battles with a lot of people flying through the air (wire action), a kung-fu fighter forming a bow out of her own body to fire another kung-fu artist like an arrow, and a romantic scene with lovers flying through a forest.

There's a twist at the end, and another twist, culminating in a big battle, and an abrupt ending because unless you have the Taiwan version, the intended ending has been cut.

Rated R for kung-fu violence.

It's fun to watch, the effects were top-notch for the time, but the plot is just a mess. The performances are fine.

Can you game it? This would easily convert to a wargaming campaign, if you can find suitable high-powered kung-fu rules.

I can't really recommend the movie, but it has some fun parts.