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The Duel

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2 reviews: 1.75/5

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16 reviews: 2.28/5

Archibald 1 How to make an disgusting dish with components separately appreciables...
jeffy 2.5
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How to make an disgusting dish with components separately appreciables...

Yip Ku-Sing (Andy Lau), who looks seriousThe Duel, it's post-Stromriders Andrew Lau, The Duel, it's a large "pop" casting for a movie with martial pretentions, to make short, The Duel, it doesn't worth much...

<^>It's the story of Yip Ku-Sing (Andy Lau Tak-Wah), "Saint Of Swordsmen", who one day challenges Simon the "Snow Blower" (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) on the roof of the Forbidden City, only place deserving the honour of such a fight. Besides, Dragon 9 (in cantonese follow me ?), played by Nick Cheung Ka-Fai, who, with a spoiled brat on his back : princess Phoenix (Vicky Zhao Wei), investigates strange murders somehow linked to the duel, whose perpretator apparently is Simon, who's also Dragon 9's best friend.

Snow (Ekin Cheng) and his little precious (Kristy Yeung)I don't really know if it's Wong Jing's screenplay, if it's Andrew Lau Wai-Keung continuing his questionnable attempts (Stormriders, A Man Called Hero) or if it's the presence of Nick Cheung in the funny guy role kind of annoying though quite talented, but this film, despite its big budget and its numerous SFX, has a real cheap look just like local kung-fu tv series, like there's so many in Hong-Kong. Humour is fat and dumb, characters are as unwritten as they're uninteresting, and the very plot in spite of the fact it tries to "show off" with a few heavyweight twists, is pretty dashed off. The atmosphere is rather cold, you have the feeling that you don't know any of the characters at the end (except maybe Dragon 9), the music is forgotten as soon as the movie stops and choreographies, despite a noteworthy work of Tony Ching Siu-Tung, lamentably collapse because of Power Rangers-like special effects (I barely exagerate).

Dragon 9 (Nick Cheung) and the Beijing Triads Godfather (Elvis Tsui Kam-Kong)Actors are here for the paycheck and don't even try (again, except maybe Nick Cheung), Andy and Ekin aren't fundamentally lousy, but the lack of space that lies with their characters eventually keep them fom bringing something interesting. Similarly, Vicky Zhao and the irresistible Kristy Cheung Kung-Yu, they're here for their pretty little faces, and they only have for space to evolve into, the side (maybe even the shadow) of their respective boyfriends.

In Brief, despite a good potential (great actors, excellent choreographer, big budget...) lamentably fails and makes us spend a boring time where you only wait for the ending twist, which doesn't have any interest anyway as it's been already a long time since you've taked off. Fat humour, cheap look despite a rather big budget, actors who aren't helped or not motivated enough, catastrophic screenplay (but not in the Deep Impact way of speaking...) and SFX too much used or too badly, are the reasons why The Duel is a movie one should avoid....

24 September 2005
by Archibald

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