Water Margin rocks out, as expected. I got a particular kick out of it because I know Ti Lung from A Better Tomorrow, and it’s funky watching a younger version. Others may recognize Tiger Tanaka from You Only Live Twice as Master Lu, the focus of the plot. But probably not cause he’s decked out in full old master regalia.
Anyway, it’s all kinds of epic but a little disjointed, which is not surprising considering that it’s just a few chapters of the vast novel Outlaws of the Water Margin. It’s easy enough to follow if you don’t mind all the seemingly marginal characters running around — it’s not that they’re unimportant to the saga, it’s that they don’t do as much in this segment. In some ways this was an excuse to put all the Shaw Brothers stars together in one movie.
The martial arts sequences are generally fairly short, except for the big climax. The weapons work is very cool, and there’s a lot of wrestling (mostly from David Chiang as Yen Ching the Young Prodigy) which is something I haven’t seen much of in Hong Kong movies.
Definitely worth watching.