Xu Reverts Back To His Source Material As Production Commences On Martial Arts Epic, THE HIDDEN BLADE


Following the work of acclaimed author and filmmaker Xu Haofeng pretty much grants you an audience to a body of work often observed as a harkening back to a bygone era of kung fu cinema. His recent acclaim with the Chinese supersharp martial arts drama, The Master (a.k.a. The Final Master) is proof of that, following titles like The Sword Identity and this year's long awaited release, Arrow Arbitration (titled Judge Archer in the U.S. and elsewhere).

Thus, we are now presented with news of the advancement of his fourth stint at the helm, The Hidden Blade, another based on one of Xu's own novels. Actress Summer Xu Qing who stars next to T.O.P. in the upcoming action thriller, Out Of Control, leads the cast for a story (logline courtesy of Cesar Alejandro Jr. at FilmSmash via MTime) centered in the 1930s with war-weathered Chinese swordsmen guarding the Great Wall. Desperate for a technique that can help them defeat the Japanese, the plot further thickens when a master of the titular technique not only earns the appeal of the soldiers, but inspires a calling of students for the right to succeed the legendary style.

Also starring are Jessie Li, Zhang Aoyue and Shaw Brothers veteran and kung fu cinema legend, Chen Kuan Tai who rejoins Xu following last year's The Master. My own viewing queue still has The Sword Identity and Judge Archer on deck, but there's no denying the fact of Xu's fitting for a project like The Hidden Blade. It is Xu himself who designs the action and therefore translates the very techniques accordingly to the screen, and with a sense of sharpness in overall texture, quality and sound to accomodate the visual spectacle we see.

Watch The Master and you will know exactly what I mean as it is one of the best kung fu dramas by far, and can therefore assure yourself the pleasure of what may come with Haofeng's next epic. Further details remain pending while one other prospect for Xu also lies in Moonlight Blade, the forthcoming remake of Chor Yuen's 1976 classic, The Magic Blade.

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