Based on the popular comic book series by Ma Wing Shung (whose work "Wind and Cloud" was also the inspiration for the box-office megahit "The Storm Riders"), "A Man Called Hero" stars pop idol Ekin Cheng as Hero, a marti... more »al arts master whose family possesses the mighty Red Sword. When his family is slaughtered, Hero flees with the sought-after sword to the United States, where he attempts to rebuild his life and take revenge. Filled with breathtaking, fights, dazzling visual effects, and the now-famous epic battle on the top of the Statue of Liberty. "A Man Called Hero" is a cinematic triumph in special effects film making.« less
"While I've been a longtime fan of the Woo-influenced Hong Kong action pics and I've been any even longertime (is there such a word?) fan samurai films, I've had a dubious love/hate affair with the more traditional 'martial arts' films where would-be superheroes dance on air whilst wiggling and waggling their magical swords to dice and slice the villains. I've loved CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, and I've meddled with THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR. I don't know. Something about traditional martial arts films have seemed to extremist entertainment to me ... but then along comes A MAN CALLED HERO and I find myself in a curious predicament: I'm hooked.I won't go into a massive rehash of the plot b/c the film does suffer a bit from some of the hallmarks of Hong Kong cinema: there's far too much story to be told in two hours, but, somehow, it all manages to fit together. There are a few plot points (Sword Hua's search for his sister, Hero's love-hate relationship with the Elements, Shadow's real intentions, etc.) that don't get enough screen time -- surprisingly -- but sacrifices were made, and what's left for the story is more than enough to chew.This film is dazzling to watch, and I think it so for a variety of reasons. It takes the traditional martial arts formula of the mystical hero, and it turns the film upside down to avoid going overboard in every way possible. Also, it strives to be much more of a contemporary 'period piece' -- set in what one could guess is America, circa 1920/1930 (I honestly don't remember that a date was mentioned) ... a creative choice that does give the principal characters far more of a 'superhero' feel and less of battling martial artists. That and EVERYTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE WRITTEN ABOUT THE FILM'S CLIMAX ON THE STATUE OF LIBERTY MUST BE BELIEVED! While there are a few parts of the Statue's final battle that are hard to swallow, it's easy to look the other way and just be dazzled in the way many other blockbuster films have tried to do.A MAN CALLED HERO (not to be confused with Jet Li's HERO) is a remarkable find, and it's a remarkable piece of work from a man called Andrew Lau.This is a definite owner. While parts of it are more guilty pleasure than anything else, A MAN CALLED HERO is wonderfully entertaining and even manages to tug on a few heartstrings along the way."
Rolling Donut | Aiea, Hawaii United States | 08/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Following the success of Storm Riders, Andrew Lau and his crew return in the visually stunning but choppy A MAN CALLED HERO. It was made in half the time Storm Riders took - and it becomes painfully obvious when you try to understand what's going on.Don't get me wrong, I loved the movie, but hell... It tried to do way too many things at once. There's a great deal of characters, subplots, and confusing flashbacks (the editing could've used work). The first half of the movie is also quite slow. But dammit, forget the story and watch the actors and special effects.Ekin Ching does a good job of protraying Hero and Bad guy Francis Ng is excellent as usual (he's such a badass). The surprising role was in Shu Qi - who is usually protrayed as a ditzy, young, immature, and spunky girl (Storm Riders and Gorgeous). Here, she plays a serious and quiet (!) Japanese Ninja who becomes emotionally involved with Hero (although the movie never develops this point... in fact, the movie never really develops anything at all). Overall the movie has an impressive cast - although it's kinda funny to watch the Japanese roles given to Chinese actors. Yuen Biao is also present with a very small part.Special effects are excellent, although I'm not sure how to compare it with Storm Riders. The climatic fight has a little bit of corniness and is sped up to the point of being unrealistic. When Francis Ng calls Ekin Ching and his voice zooms through the entire city of New York, I tripped out. Never in my life have I seen such a concept on film. Other great moments belong to the sword fight in the rain and the run in with Hero and the Japanese Ninjas (although the outfits were silly).In the end I was wondering what the hell I just watch and tried to make sense of the story... After a while I realized that it didn't matter - it was fun to watch and I was very satisfied with the effort put into this production. I'll be waiting for the sequel - for now, this Special Cut DVD was worth the money."
WAY better than Matrix
Son Lam Nguyen | Richmond, VA | 09/28/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Simply put, this is a fun and very captivating movie. Many will complain about the hard to follow story layout, but it's more of a long flashback than a Mission Impossible confusion. The special effects are top notch making Hollywood wonder where they put all their money because this movie was made cheaply compared to anything the US puts out.
It's an action story so the occasional poor acting by some (Nicholas Tse mainly) can be forgiven. It's nothing worse than Will Smith, so don't be scared. But everyone else is right on with their skills. Yuen Biao's cameos lend his real kung fu expertise. And fans of the Hong Kong actresses will have more than special effects to stare at. Everyone will envy Ekin Cheng's character.
Fight sequences will make any action/martial arts fan cheer. The last battle is one for the record books. Anyone out there wishing for a DBZ movie will be more than happy with this in its place. The only flaws are small ones which do not ruin the experience at all. Expect to see a great action film with an engrossing story and you won't be disappointed."
Great Special Effects, Love that Ekin!
SereneNight | California, USA | 12/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hero is a man born under an unlucky star with a terrible fortune: (Everyone close to Hero will die an unnatural death). After an assassin kills his family, Hero must flee to America to start over.Traveling to New York to begin his new life, Hero (Ekin Cheng) is taken to work at a mine. Along the way, he befriends a Buddhist monk, who admires his devotion and sense of honor. Falsely accused of murder at the camp, Hero is forced to flee yet again. When Hero discovers his wife, Jade, has also come to China town, Hero risks all to be with her... With some unforeseen consequences. "A Man Called Hero" has some excellent special effects, martial arts fans will enjoy. For instance: there is a scene where Hero and the villian are battling on top of the Statue of Liberty which was really breathtaking. There were also several really cool scenes where Hero is battling in the city as well.What really prevented me from giving this movie a five star rating was the choppy plot, and the way it was narrated. Half of the movie is told in 'real time' and the other half seems to be relayed by Hero's friend Shadow. The movie jumps from present to past, without much sense, and this was distracting. Also, the plot seemed to meander a bit, with Hero just taking what life dished out, and never doing much of anything. On the good side, Ekin Cheng was absolutely WONDERFUL as Hero, lending the role the fire it needed to breath life into an otherwise cardboard stiff character. With some editing and a decent script, I'd give this movie five stars!"
Groundbreaking visual feast
enslaved52 | BC Canada | 10/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just rented this movie the other day as the front cover boasted that it was from the makers of Iron Monkey and Legend of the Drunken Master and the story sounded cool. Let me tell you, this film surprised me greatly in that it was nothing like what I expected but it was a brilliant piece of work. I have never seen this many elements from different genres thrown into one film in a truly bizzare mix. I mean, battling it out with brutal magical powers in the streets of new york? Crazy... and the final battle must be seen to be beleived. An excellent story, fascinating characters and ingenious direction make this an experience like no other."