Butterfly and Sword
AKA: Butterfly Sword, Comet Butterfly and Sword
Director: Tang Chi Li
Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Donnie Yen, Joey Wong, Elvis Tsui
A trio of mercenaries are hired by an old kung-fu sifu to steal a document from an evil master that he hopes will save his school from destruction. The group sets out to do the job, but soon their feelings for each other get in the way of work.
Butterfly and Sword is a promising flying swordsman movie ultimately let down by a extremely muddled plot (I watched it twice and still didn't really get what was going on) and a poor script that kills any momentum the film builds by throwing in several boring, talky exposition scenes. It feels like a Wong Jing movie without the gusto or madcap fun usually found in Wong's work. The movie's saving graces are its' high-flying and extremely bloody fight scenes and a nice performance from Michelle Yeoh, who steps out a bit from her "nice but tough girl" image with a role that's a bit more cold-hearted and calculating. For instance, she uses the "flying sleeves" technique to rip some poor guy's head off, something which I have a hard time imaging Wing Chun or Invisible Woman doing. However, these things still can't save this movie from falling into the range of mediocrity and, as such, I can only really recommend it for big Michelle Yeoh fans who want to see a slightly different side of her work.
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