"Saviour of the Soul is a brilliant high camp Hong Kong extravaganza featuring everything that the true fan loves about Hong Kong films. The plot revolves around Ching (Andy Lau) and Kwan (Anita Mui), who are 'city soldiers' along with Chuen. Silver Fox (Aaron Kwok) comes to kill Kwan to get revenge on her for foiling the plans of Silver Fox's master. In the process, he kills Chuen. Kwan, who loves Ching, decides that the best way to protect him is to drive him away. This leaves Ching with Chuen's 15 year old sister (who develops a crush on him) while he searches for Kwan, whom he loves. Anita Mui also plays her own a twin sister, a strange woman with a weird voice (which I think might have been dubbed in by someone else). Carina Lau plays Madam Pet (yes, that's what the subtitles said), whom Ching spurns.That is the soap opera plot of Saviour of the Soul in a nutshell. It is apparently based on the manga City Hunter, which has also inspired a Jackie Chan film. There is a lot of backstory which seems to be assumed in this film. First of all, what are city soldiers?! The setting of the film appears to be a sort of combination of Hong Kong and Gotham City and wherever Dick Tracy lives, with fabulously designed, gorgeously colored sets. The look of this film is superb, and reason enough to see it.This film has pretty much everything in it. Romance, drama, great flying fu style action scenes, blood spurts, some goofy special effects, and pretty much everything else you can imagine except a backstory (you can't have anything). Andy Lau is in fine form, bouncing from comedy to heroism without missing a beat. Carina Lau does a decent impression of Brigitte Lin's icy stare of death, though no one does it quite like Brigitte. Anita Mui does double duty as the romantic butt-kicking lead, Kwan, and her weird sister, who has a number of comic moments with Andy Lau. The young girl (Gloria Yip?) has the most boring role as about half the scenes with her in it seem to involve her crying for one reason or another.If you enjoy frenetic Hong Kong action-comedy-dramas (and if you don't why do you watch Hong Kong films anyway?) then see Saviour of the Soul. - G"
Incredibly Sylish and Dynamic Fun
Colin Epstein | Albany, CA USA | 01/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Saviour of the Soul" dazzles with gorgeous design, incredible action, and a surreal storyline set in its own comic book universe. A heady mixture of japanese manga, chinese swordplay, and runway fashion, this film is easily one of my favorite Hong Kong films. The plot in these movies is usually convoluted, but this film takes that trend to dizzying heights. The story somehow manages to encompass a vengeful assasin, three extremely well-dressed crimefighters, a mysterious preistess, a wanna-be pirate, twin sisters, a schoolgirl crush, unrequited love, vengeance, and broad humor. The fights are incredible, staged with tons of panache and complete disregard for the laws of physics. Weapons used include swords, exploding knives, gas that makes you intangible, bullets that suck the air out of rooms, and a yo-yo. Every element of the film is beautifully designed, from the sets to the costumes to the weapons. The rich, saturated cinematography makes it all look that much better. Unfortunately, this DVD is extrememly bare bones, lacking even basic chapter stops, and the image has occasional compression artifacts. The print also has some dirt and scratches. This still looks worlds better than the VHS release, however. Action fans with a taste for the unusual should find plenty to enjoy in this delightful movie."
Completely over the top
morgoth | omaha, NE | 10/31/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Set in a futuristic world, Aaron Kwok plays an assassin named Silver Fox. Aaron Kwok's master was blinded by Anita Mui's character while Mui was rescuing a Princess. Now Silver fox wants revenge. Andy Lau also stars and he spends all of his time trying to get Anita Mui to love him.
This movie is so over the top that most people will either love it or hate it. The story was written by Jeffrey Lau (All for the Winner) and Wong Kar Wai (Chungking Express), but it feels like a Wong Jing movie. The thing that makes this different from a Wong Jing movie is that it has so much style. The cinematography is stunning and adds a lot of life to the action scenes. The problem is that there is not nearly enough action.
If you are a huge fan of Aaron Kwok, Andy Lau, and/or Anita Mui, then I can understand why you like this movie, but I didn't like it at all. I hate mindless movies, unless they deliver nonstop action sequences. This movie just didn't do it for me.
The picture quality on the Universal Laser and Video DVD is nearly perfect. The picture shakes a bit and there are a couple scratches, but nothing too distracting. Subtitles are well written for the most part."
A true masterpiece of Hong Kong cinema
Colin Epstein | 10/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On a far smaller budget than is afforded to mainstream Hollywood films, Saviour of the Soul provides a sumptuous feast for the eyes. The action choreography mixes traditional swordplay with some highly inventive special effects and the result is spellbinding. As with many Hong Kong films, the humour is spot on also and the trio of singing stars (Lau, Mui, Kwok) are excellent in the roles. Excellent entertainment."
Legend of Blown up Master...
nmh_yeti | somewhere in the back of a cab with survival guide | 02/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you want to make a movie about a sword-wielding super ninja avenging his master you probably don't want to start the movie by having the aforementioned sword-wielding super ninja rescue his master and then blow him up. Nonetheless this is the road that Saviour of the Soul chooses to take and it is pretty succesful. The movie is just plain fun and extreme. It does just about everything there is in the filmmaker's handbook to get the audience to laugh, cry, and cheer. I really don't get the plot...that's where the holes are, but if you ignore plot entirely and follow the story without questioning any of the massive gaps in its logic, then you will enjoy this flick. Great art direction, sweet Hong Kong style fight scenes and a quality Superman take-off definetly make this dvd worth buying. Oh yeah, it also has Cantopop...nothing but Cantopop for a soundtrack...oh boy."