Korean cinema has made some great swordplay epics such as Bichunmoo and Sword With No Name but until recently the genre has not seen many releases in that country.
Now we have The Swordsman from director Choi Jaehoon and starring Jang Hyuk and Joe Taslim in a story of a swordsman who is slowly going blind and is forced to raise his sword once again to save his daughter, who has been kidnapped by an evil slave dealer.
What stands out in this movie is the pacing with slow build up with a lot of tension, so that when the action does come you are really involved with the characters. The choreography is superbly done, fast, exciting and edited to perfection. While Jang Huk is good as the lead actor, it is Joe Taslim who steals the show as the main villain. Oozing evil, you know that when he does finally let loose it will be something special and action fans will not be disappointed, especially the bloody all-out final battle. Hints of Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman spring to mind as the hero fights many battles with his sight getting worse as time progresses. A satisfying and very enjoyable action movie this come totally recommended.
The Blu-ray released by Cine Asia has a good solid 1080p transfer with no problems at all which is to be expected from a new film. Audio gives a thunderous DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix with a very good surround mix which really enhances the action. Extras are very disappointing with just a couple of trailers and a short piece about the swords in use. The film is available on Blu ray in the UK from Cine Asia and the USA from WellGo.
FILM – 8 OUT OF 10