“The Sentimental Swordsman” is a 1977 Shaw Brothers wuxia martial arts action film directed by Chor Yuen and stars Ti Lung (Li Xunhuan), Derek Yee (Ah Fei), Ching Li, Yueh Hua with Ku Feng.
The film kicks off with a mysterious package, a classic MacGuffin, which draws the attention of several skilled martial artists, each vying to claim it for themselves. As the package is opened, a precious and highly sought-after golden armor vest is revealed, setting the stage for an exhilarating series of encounters.
However, this initial storyline quickly takes a back seat, and we find ourselves introduced to a fresh group of martial artists. They have convened to confront the enigmatic Plum Blossom Bandit, a master of deception and intrigue.
As the plot unfolds, our protagonist, Li Xunhuan, portrayed by the iconic Ti Lung, is framed as the Plum Blossom Bandit. Consequently, he finds himself escorted to the Shaolin Temple for a trial, setting the stage for a series of dramatic and high-energy confrontations.
The film masterfully weaves a complex web of shifting allegiances and motivations, ensuring that viewers are constantly on their toes, never quite sure who to trust. A whirlwind of new characters and plot elements is introduced at a rapid pace, keeping the narrative engaging and suspenseful.
Amidst this intricate plot, “The Sentimental Swordsman” treats us to a plethora of thrilling martial arts sequences that showcase the incredible talents of the cast. Derek Yee, playing Ah Fei, demonstrates his exceptional martial arts skills as he faces off against formidable adversaries, including the formidable Ku Feng.
The film also boasts some striking art direction, bringing the rich and vibrant world of martial arts to life. Director Chor Yuen’s signature style, which often employs foreground elements to enrich the visual storytelling, is on full display. While this technique can occasionally verge on being overwhelming, it adds a unique dimension to the film’s aesthetics.
The film is based on Gu Long’s Xiaoli Feidao series of novels, adding depth and substance to the storyline.