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Not Rated
Copyright 1998 Golden Harvest
Reviewed by Henry Dunn on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Note: The Characters are introduced in the film with their name appearing on screen when they are first seen. It is a nice idea for this type of film.
  • Striding Cloud - Aaron Kwok! Master of the Cloud Palms. Has blue hair and is very moody-broody. Finally gets his revenge against Lord Conquer for the death of his father.
  • Whispering Wind - Ekin Cheng! Master of the Wind Kicks. More outgoing than Cloud, but finally realizes what his master is.
  • Lord Conquer - Sonny Chiba! Possesses the Trinity Strength. Master of just about everything except his destiny. Seeks control of that by raising and then killing Wind and Cloud. Defeated by them instead (betcha didn't see that coming).
  • Charity - Kristy Yang! Lord Conquer's Daughter. Collects polished stones from riverbeds and is the object of both Cloud and Wind's affections, therefore she dies tragically.
  • Frost - Master of the Frost Fists and heir to Lord Conquer's clan. Killed by Lord Conquer when he tries to step down.
  • Mud Buddha - A prophet of great renown that is cursed by the heavens with boils and sores. Only the Fire Monkey can relieve the pain by sucking out the poison.
  • Jester - The Court advisor(?) to Lord Conquer. A medieval far-east dandy personified.
  • Doctor Yu - A well respected member of his community that possesses the Fire Beast Arm. Lops it off and grafts it to Cloud after his act of self mutilation.
  • Muse - Qi Shu! Tomboy Daughter of Doctor Yu that falls for Cloud. Possesses the finger poke of ultimate concentration ruination.
  • Cloud's Father - Master swordsmith that forges and hides the Ultimate Blade. Killed by Hawk and Bat.
  • Whispering Prince and Ying - Wind's father and mother. He loses to Lord Conquer twice, losing Ying the first time and his Blizzard Blade the next. The Fire Beast in the Cirrus Cave actually wins in the end. Yum Yum. She took the easy way to eliminating her dishonor (i.e. jumping to her death).
  • Sword Saint - The most powerful warrior in the land. Rival to Lord Conquer. Killed by Muse.
  • Shaolin Monk - I can't read Cantonese and they never say his name during the film. Protects the Fire Monkey and mediates disputes.
  • Hawk and Bat - Lord Conquer's mooks. Killed Cloud's father. Killed by the Fire Beast.
  • Fire Beast - Guards the Blood Bohdi fruit of the Cirrus Cave. Gets iced by Wind.
  • Dragon and Phoenix - The Ice Vigor is buried with Dragon's father and Cloud comes to "borrow" it for Charity's body. She is his pregnant wife who can fire flaming arrows, but has a tendency to be hit by them herself.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

This is basically your average "two boys are destined to defeat an all powerful conqueror and are brought into his house to be raised and they fall in love with his daughter and they fight over her and the lord accidentally kills her instead of the boys during the quarrel and he chases down the one that took her body and sends the other to collect some fruit that will make him stronger for his upcoming duel with a powerful man that has been putting him off for 10 years and one boy gets a new arm and the other gets his father's sword that is where the fruit is since his father died there fighting the lord and they return after the powerful man is defeated by the touch of a girl and they proceed to have the big, huge final battle in the graveyard of swords that the lord has collected over the years" story. Whew, but that's just the underlying threadbare excuse for a plot (smile) to which is added some the best digital effects this side of Industrial Light and Magic. The Fire Beast and the final fight sequence are some of the best looking combination of digital and live actor action sequences that are right on par with the lightsabre duels from Episode I. If this is the next evolution of Hong Kong Afternoon Theatre then please bring on some more. At just over two hours, you would think there would be spots that lag, but if there are, I can't find them. It's like reading a manga that you can't put down and you're dying for the next issue when finished.

And yes, it is over two hours long...

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Forcing open puzzle boxes causes them to explode.
  • Fainting can sometimes last for days.
  • Even a prophecy lacking any subtlety will go over the head of its intended target.
  • When the men you love are away, silk cloths will do in a pinch.
  • Swordsmen make the perfect wedding gifts.
  • An evil, all-powerful conqueror's only wish is that his daughter will marry well and have a good life.
  • When dramatically appropriate, normal humans can leap great distances. Usually to their deaths.
  • A several hundred pound casket can be carried around without much trouble by only one person.
  • When water is scarce, blood can be substituted. Only works with special super attacks though.
  • Two fingers + Open palm = Broken arm. Ouch.
  • Removing and discarding useless limbs can often give you an edge in a fight.
  • Self-sealing doors are standard options for above ground tombs.
  • Surprisingly, newly grafted arms look almost exactly like the ones they replace.
  • Fire Beasts tend not to play with their food long. At least the food with a low flash point...
  • Fire Beasts should not reside in caves near the sea or with pools in them.
  • If you find an old man standing in a trance, DO NOT TOUCH HIM.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • Opening Credits - A montage of CG scenes that are items plucked from the film. Very nice.
  • 12 mins - If this flashback fight sequence with the bamboo is any indication... : )
  • 14 mins - "You won't like me when I'm angry" Bruce Banner look there.
  • 17 mins - And you thought Big Trouble in Little China had the monopoly on leaping sword fights.
  • 18 mins - Wonder what THAT was, guess I'll have to wait until later to find out. *
  • 42 mins - Now that's what I call hard water.
  • 45 mins - He's got such a magnetic personality... ...thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week.
  • 50 mins - Nothing like a good laugh after having been hand held step by step through your most obvious prophecy.
  • 58 mins - We are STILL introducing characters to the plot.
  • 66 mins - Unrolled with style.
  • 69 mins - This can only lead to a special effects filled fight sequence. YES.
  • 70 mins - Blazing super kick of ultimate destruction and mayhem.
  • 80 mins - When the soundtrack plug stops, the fight begins.
  • 82 mins - He's not gonna do what I think he's gonna... ...ow, ow, ow, ow.
  • 86 mins - He can't still be standing... ...ok, there he goes.
  • 96 mins - * Oh, so that's what it is.
  • 106 mins - When reality starts to ripple, you know a can of whoopass is about to be opened.
  • 117 mins - Well, you knew the final confrontation HAD to be here, didn't you?
  • 121 mins - Great "Oh shit!" look there
  • End Credits - Credits roll next to behind the scenes footage... ...very nice


  • Ming: "You have no respect for me."
    Cloud and Frost: "That's right. Shut up."
  • Jester: "What is that smell? It stinks."
    Muse: "It's the scent of a woman."
    Jester: "Women?"
  • Cloud: "She is already my woman. Go away."
  • Muse: "He lost his lover and his arm all in one day."
  • Cloud: "My arm... ...why?"
    Muse: "Like it? I put it on for you."
  • Lord Conquer: "Wind, for two months you have done nothing but drink and sleep. If you go on like this, you will be wasted."
  • Hawk: "That day, all 296 people at Unchallenged City took this poison. It's colorless, scentless, flesh rotting and bone eating."
  • Lord Conquer: "A long awaited occasion! Although I now rule the martial arts world, not being able to fight you is like having a bone stuck in my throat. I must get it out to ease my discomfort."
  • Monk: "Master Wind. Do not use all your force, do not say all you think. If you go too far, destiny will prematurely end."
  • Lord Conquer: "I taught you Fists, Palms and Kicks, but I (sic) ultimate weapon is the sword!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipstormriders1.mpg - 2.2m
Cloud interrupts the wedding in this scene. The entire film is like this, full of rich colors and nice effects.

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