Made in 2005, and partly funded by New Line, Shadowless Sword is the Korean take on well known classic Chinese swordplay pictures. The story is about Dae Jeong-hyun, a prince of the Balhae royal family living in exile who unwittingly becomes the heir to the kingdom when warring Georan forces successfully kill off everyone ahead of him in succession. The remaining Balhae loyalists quickly send master swords woman Yeon So-ha to both retrieve and protect the reluctant heir. The Georan’s in turn enlist the Killer Blade Army, led by the bloodthirsty Gun Hwa-pyung and his beautiful and deadly chief lieutenant, Mae-Yung-ok to capture or kill the prospective King. Reluctant at first to go back the two quickly develop a bond fighting the Killer Blade Army and doing anything to protect one another.
While the story has nothing really new to add, it is extremely well done with good Characterisation and fantastic choreography, grounded but also high flying and reminiscent of the great Ching Siu Tong.
The acting is first class, from the beautiful Yoon So Yi and Shin Hyeon Jun both from Arahan and Lee Ki Yong as the deadly female assassin. If your a fan of swordplay films then this gets a big thumbs up and along with the same director’s Bichunmoo is one of the better fantasy action films to come from Korea.
The Taiwan Blu ray release is from Bitwel is a good one. The 1080p transfer is excellent, crisp with little grain, some minor edge enhancement but nothing to worry about. The sound gives you LPCM and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in Korean with excellent surround definition. Subtitles in English and Chinese are provided, very few grammatical errors were noticed. The disc is Region Free so will play on any DVD or PS3 player worldwide.
An excellent film on a great disc and recommended.