Saturday, July 14, 2012

Movie review: “True Legend”

Movie review: “True Legend”


Man Cheuk Chiu as Su Can
Xun Zhou as Yuang Ying
Andy On as Yuan Lie
Michelle Yeoh as Sister Yu
Jay Chou as God of Wushu/Drunken Master
David Carradine as Anton

Short Story Summary: The story of Su Can, who became known as the “King of Beggars”

Story: (7/10) While the story was overall good, it was far from original. The story is told in a story book form and is split into two chapters. The first part is basically a combination of every plot device used in martial art films through the years and the second part is pretty much the plot of “Ip Man 2” with a little of Jackie Chan’s “Drunken Master” thrown in. While I feel I understand where they were coming from ( trying to make a kind of “tribute film” to honor the Martial arts Genre), I do believe that the story could have been structured better. By the, I believe, sixty minute mark, I thought the film was over, only to realize that I had a whole second part to watch. The way it was, you are basically watching two films in one, a movie and its sequel you could say. With that said, I did enjoy the two stories and their nods to other films.

Characters/Cast: (9/10) To me, the cast and characters of this film was the most important part that the film makers had to get right: I will explain. As this film is, to me, a tribute to the MA genre, that means that the characters are a combination of every other hero, villain, and love interest that has ever appeared in in these types of films. In my honest opinion, I believe they did a fine job. Chiu’s “Su Can” is a great character to fill the role of the heroes that have come before in other movies. Throughout the movie he has to go through the trials that other heroes have faced, from losing a love one to facing his greatest enemy. He is not shown as perfect, but as a person that must struggle against all odds until he is triumphant. He may suffer, but he knows that he has to keep saying to himself that “You can do this”( even his name represents this “Su Can”-“You Can”.). Villains of this genre are too great to be filled by one person, so the film has two antagonists. The first, Yuan Lie played by Andy On, is the reprehensive of the traditional villain in Martial arts cinema. He is the bad guy who is not only a master, but is also a master deceiver ( “Look: “Su Lie”-“You Lie”). The second villain, Anton played by the late David Carradine, is reprehensive for the newer, more foreign villain. He may not know how to fight, but he is no less evil. He is the type that is willing to wager all on using the skills of others to further his plans (Look:” Anton”-“Ante”). Both of these villains are well done and truly contain and show the essence of their “elders “. Yuang Ying, played by the Xun Zhou, is the combined spirit of all the love that the other movie heroes receive from their love ones. She is shown in the film as being a pure spirit, because true love is the purist thing one can receive. I think the actress did a fine job portraying this and does honor to all the other loyal supporters that have helped their own heroes in their time of need. Lastly, but certainly not least is the representative of the master. Jay Chou’s God of Wushu and Drunken Master are the very embodiment of the “Master” figure, that comes from nowhere and helps the hero find his/her way. This now legendary figure may go as fast as he comes, but his mark stays . There are two masters because, like the villain, they cannot be contained in one body. You may on the one hand have the strict, no nonsense master (“God of Wushu”) or you may have the less serious, more lighthearted master ( “Drunken Master “). I also believe that they chose to have the same actor portray both parts, to show that even though the two masters have different ways of teaching, they both are, deep down the same person, with the same reasons for helping the hero. You could say that every character in this film was the embedment of many hundreds of other characters. Even the Iron Twins were the representives of the faithful henchmen, who will fight to the death for their master.

Action: (8/10) I found the fights to be all around pretty good. The film makers includes many different styles and weapons into the action scenes. They were sure to make sure that they added a good verity of fight situations, from one on one fights to major skirmishes, to make sure they had covered the hundreds of battles that had occurred in other films. The only problem I found was the over use of wires in some of the fights and the sometime frequent use of slow-mo.

Music: (9/10) I found the music in this film to be very good. the only problem was that there was not enough of it.

Visuals: (7/10) The visuals were not bad, but I feel they could have been better. One thing was that the CG landscapes were not very well done and looked fake in most cases. This is not a real big problem, because there was not many of these CG landscapes in the film. Another problem was the frequent use of slow-mo. It was okay the first couple of times, and then it just got old. Lastly has to do with my nemesis, the over use of wires. The wire work did not look all that bad and I know that this is partly a Wushu film, but they could of slacked up on it a little.

Conclusion: While not original (it was never meant to be) and some slight technical problems(wires and slo-mo), I think this is a really good movie. It does a good job at paying tribute to those films that came before it and is entertaining to watch. I highly recommend checking this one out.


  1. I agree with your review. It was a very entertaining film and I really enjoyed it. Loved to see Leung Kar Yan in it as well.