The swordsman series continues with the reappearance of the isolated transgender asia the invincible to refute those who have used his name for fame and power. Special features: subtitles in english chinese korean japanese... more » vietnamese thai malaysian and indonesian chapters and filmographies. Studio: Tai Seng Entertainment Release Date: 10/24/2000 Starring: Brigitte Lin Joey Wang Run time: 108 minutes Rating: Nr Director: Ching Siu Tung« less
"East is Red is Part III in the "Swordsman" series starring Jet Li as a young swordsman who gets caught up in a fight over a scroll that contains the "secret of ultimate power". He battles against "Invincible Asia" a man who castrates himself to fight as good at kung fu as a woman (which happens to be that secret as revealed at the end of Part I). Brigitte Lin (Bride With White Hair) is a real-life woman playing "Invincible Asia" a castrated man with ambition to rule the world in this awesome historical tale of politics in 1500s when Portuguese first explored coast of China. I love this film and recommend the whole "Swordsman" series."
Brigitte Lin shines in delirious Hong Kong wire fu classic
Brian Camp | Bronx, NY | 01/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE EAST IS RED (1993), a sequel to SWORDSMAN II (1992), is the crowning achievement in the long career of Taiwan-born Hong Kong cinema diva Brigitte Lin (who retired a year later). She is at her highest-flying, gravity-defying best here as Asia the Invincible, a kung fu master who'd obtained the powers of the Sacred Scroll and changed from a man into a woman as a result. Here, four months after her "death" in Part II, she comes back on the scene with the help of a Chinese court officer monitoring transgressions by Spanish and Japanese warships, and seeks to root out the cults that have sprouted in her name and destroy the fake Asia the Invincibles who have emerged to run these cults. One of the fakes is Snow (Joey Wang), who'd been Asia's lover when she'd been a man and who, we find, still loves the transformed Asia. Officer Koo (Yu Rongguang), watching these two beautiful women from the sidelines, gets mighty frustrated.
The film is shot through with the kind of grace and beauty that we only got in Hong Kong costume adventures. Every shot is gorgeous, every cut is perfect, every effect is breathtaking. The more fantastic the action, the more we suspend our disbelief, thanks to the ingenious staging and precision cutting. Characters never walk or take a boat when they can fly or run at high speed along the surface of the water. Characters rip the sails off ships and use them to fly through the air. Cannons are lifted as if they were rifles and ships are pushed back and forth by hand. Underneath it all is a deeply bitter romantic undercurrent. Never have I seen love, despair and rage so intertwined. Raw emotions propel the action and give a dreamy, delirious quality to the proceedings. Never has there been a Hong Kong film quite like this one and never will there be another one.
It wouldn't hurt to see SWORDSMAN II first, although it's not absolutely necessary. (SWORDSMAN I, from 1990, has very little, if any, connection, to the two sequels.) This upgraded DVD release offers 16:9 anamorphic enhancement and is far superior in quality to the earlier edition. "
A must have for Brigitte Lin fans
Andrew J. Fong | philly | 09/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film is great simply for the fact that is alomst centers completely on Brigitte Lin's character. She lights up the screen as Asia, the Invincible. This film is interesting because there is no clear good guy/bad guy. The three main characters are really neither good or bad. Like so many people in real life. The plot starts out wonderfully with Asia in hiding, then setting out to rid the world of her imposters, then about three quarters into the movie the storyline heads downhill. The ending is a disapointing way to end a great trilogy. There are two elements that subtract from the overall movie. One element is the terrible subtitles. The other element is the weak ending which I mentioned earlier. This film is a must have for any Brigitte Lin fans (and everyone should be). The cinematography is excelent, some of the scenes in this movie will be embeded in my mind forever. In regards to the Swordsman trilogy, I liked the first the least simply because of the lack of star power. Jet Li an Brigitte Lin led Swordsman 2. The East is Red is led by Brigitte Lin and there is no question whose movie it is."
Dripping with politics...
M. Armstrong | Scottsdale, Arizona USA | 05/17/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Dragon Inn is soaked with political subtext, but manages to wind up a fantastic Kung-Fu epic... The East Is Red is much the same thing with regard to the politics, but the movie suffers for it. Unless you really want to watch a bad kung-fu epic that serves as a metaphor for the handover of China, then I'd suggest staying away from this pitiful film. Swordsman 1 and 2 are far superior and this film is barely a sequel. Just pretend that only 2 Swordsman films were made and that this one was just a bad dream."
Good action, fun flick
SL | RI | 02/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kung fu master Ku misguidedly leads Spanish soldiers to the grave of Asia the Invincible (brilliantly overplayed by Brigitte Lin) to seize some Secret Scrolls -- a source of untold power. Well, apparently she's alive, and easily dispatches both the Spanish and a small army of ninjas (whose galleon converts into a submarine), before escaping on the back of a marlin. She now embarks upon a mission to destroy the numerous false pretenders to her title, ripping hearts and bodies asunder with her flying kung fu needles! With insane action sequences and hopelessly botched subtitles, it's hard to tell whether this was intended as a camp masterpiece, a genre parody, or what. - SP"