Director - Ching Siu Tung
Swordman II (1992)
DVD Released by : Mei Ah
Player reviewed with : Malata DVD-N996
Receiver reviewed with : Sony 925


Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0
Chinese, English,Japanese, Korean,
Thai, Vietnamese, and Bahasa Subtitles


Original Soundtrack "Music Video"
Cantonese and Mandarin Soundtracks
Running Time - 108 min.

Jet Li is Ling, a swordman who really like his wine. While traveling to meet with his clan, he becomes enamored with Invincible Dawn (Brigitte Lin) after she attacks him. Actually, "She" is a "He". After studying a magic scroll, Invincible Dawn has become more feminine as the power has increased. Amongst a background of clan rivalries, Ling's clan chooses not to get involved but he changes his mind because he also loves that acting head of one clan, portrayed by Rosamund Kwan. Her father, Master Wu, has been imprisoned by Invincible Dawn. When Ling is also imprisoned, he manages to help Master Wu escape. After the escape, Wu plots to overthrow
Invincible Dawn.

The plot is a little tricky to follow but becomes clearer after a second viewing. Brigitte Lin is great as Invincible Dawn, playing the part perfectly as the man turned woman. Jet Li is also great as Ling although I wish he had some more screen time. There are a lot of characters to keep track of here. The action scenes are good and shouldn't disappoint.

The picture quality is a little disappointing on this DVD. The print has some damage and there are times when bright scenes look over exposed or like they have a redish-brown haze. The colors are also undersaturated. These imperfections happen a couple of times. Most of the movie is about
average with other import DVD's so if you really like this movie, this shouldn't be too much of a deterrent. The transfer itself isn't too bad but that can only go so far when there is damage to the print.

The sound option gives a choice for Dolby 5.1 or Dolby 2 in Cantonese or Mandarin. The Dolby 2.0 is fine. I would recommend watching it this way. The sound is evenly mixed and is in sync with the action on the screen.

The subtitles are readable and well placed. They are on the print but if you want the picture to fill your 16:0 TV, the bottoms will be cut off slightly. The Malata allows zooming out so I had no problems with the subtitles. There are few spelling errors but some grammatical/syntax errors. Over all they are readable although when the characters talk fast they flash very quickly.

The extras consist of a "data bank", a music video, and a trailer for TREASURE HUNT.

I like SWORDMAN II but I know opinion varies greatly on this movie. If you are looking at it like its a Jet li movie, you may be a little disappointed. He is one character of many that are important to the story. The actors give very strong performances and this in itself is worth watching the movie for.