It tells the story of a young man named Hu Fei, as he escapes the rain with his uncle. Whilst they’re undercover and Fei is looking after his sick uncle, a group of men walk in that Fei’s uncle recognizes. He then tells Fei the story of how is father was killed.
We learn of a challenge match between Fei’s father Hu Yidao and the man with the nickname ‘Invincible’, realname Miao Renfeng. After hearing some rumors, Renfeng challenges Yidao to a match and after exchanging terms and formalities they begin.
But as things get late, they decide to get some rest and resume in the morning. The next day, they step out and fight again until night, when they go to bed with the intention of resuming the next day. This continues for a few days.
Finally the two become friends and Renfeng announces that Yidao couldn’t have done the things he was rumored to of done due to his honest and moral conduct. But then Renfeng and Yidao spar a little more when Yidao is sliced by Renfeng’s blade and starts to die. Confused, as the cut was not normally fatal, they conclude that he was poisoned. Renfeng knows nothing and is incredibly regretful. Yidao then commits suicide and his wife does the same.
Afterwards Renfeng keeps his end of the bargain and decides to raise Fei (still a baby) as his own son, but some of his men (plotting against everyone) try to kill Fei before his uncles swoops in and saves him. Flash back to the future and we see Hu Fei as a young adult, he learns the last movements of the Hu’s Sword Kung Fu and decides to take revenge for his parents.
But things get complicated and this becomes much harder than originally intended. We then see a lot of sword fights and deception as each side tries to out poison the other.
A Complicated Tale of Revenge.
So Fei wants to take revenge, but the man who killed his father was his friend and did it unintentionally. So Fei must try and figure out who was behind the poisoning whilst also finding a cure for a poison which has blinded Renfeng, whom he has befriended.
There’s a lot of back and forth poisoning which gets a little outside of the simple entertainment a lot of old Kung Fu classics have to offer, but it’s not that bad.
The flash back is among some of the most entertaining parts of the movie but once things are over it’s like a second separate story is being told. Ultimately the whole theme of poison takes over as the events of the story revolve almost entirely around poisoning and finding an antidote for being poisoned, etc.
The Action & Martial Arts
The action is pretty standard but done well. Revolving mostly around sword fighting while throwing in the odd hand to hand fights, this movie delivers the same sort of action you’d expect form a movie from this era.
The long shots with fast and precisely timed movements shows a great deal of care taken into each fight scene. Although the fights are technically good, the emotion and drive behind each character as they fight just doesn’t seem apparent and they seem just like performances rather than two bitter rivals at each others necks.
Another classic Kung Fu film made of with care and high quality. It’s not great and it’s not bad – it’s right in the middle in my opinion. Check it out if you don’t have another highly rated movie to watch.