Li Zhishan (Tang Ching), the owner of a well-known escort company, was the victim of a conspiracy developed by his wife Yuexiang (Kao Pao-shu) and Long Zhentian (Li Peng -fei), an enervated competitor. Li Zhishan is obliged to flee from his home with his baby and a servant, unfortunately abandoning his famous golden sword that falls into the hands of Long Zhentian. 18 years later, his daughter Xiaoyan (Chin Ping) will by chance meet his mother, this is the beginning of trouble.
Ho Meng Hua is a director capable of touching different genres ranging from the fantasy film (the Monkey King series) to Wu Xia Pian. In general, he brings to his achievements a superb visual richness that stems from an endless imagination, one is almost always certain to enjoy. Vengeance is a Golden Blade gets much closer to Killer Darts, another of his wu xia pian performed less than a year ago. As well as the scenario with the story of a girl who will have to confront her past as well as cast level with notably Chin Ping and Yueh Hua in the main roles.
After concentrating on the darts, Ho Meng Hua opts for the blade. It must be said that in all the narratives of chivalry there is at the center of history an overpowering weapon, the golden sword is a Chinese excalibur. At that time, good numbers of wu xia pian surf more or less skillfully on this kind of story, Chang Cheh, Cheng Kang or Lo Wei also participate in this frenzy. So why not another star director from the studio like Ho Meng Hua?
As with Killer Darts, the sword is a source of trouble: death, betrayal, fear … The weapon obviously shares the characters in two clans, the good ones and the bad guys. The vouchers are reasonable and include the danger of the weapon that must be destroyed. The bad guys exploit it without worrying about the problems.
Ho Meng Hua does not take a risk, it is a banal start that allows him to anchor his characters and develop his theme properly.
Many may think of Ho Meng Hua, accustomed to the grandguignolesque, that he is not the kind to really care about his story, that ultimately his achievements are more a lovely brothel enjoyment than anything else. Yet Ho Meng Hua confirms with Vengeance a strong attachment for the characters emerging from adolescence and going to discover the world and their past. It should not be forgotten that he is also the co-writer of the story, which allows to evacuate the doubts of an umpteenth production wu xia pian of the Shaw Brothers rather tasteless and truly bland. Because of this attachment, Vengeance is clearly aimed at a fairly young public like Killer Darts.
Chin Ping embodies the girl without a past history, she grew up in the middle of the mountains with a crippled father, a grandfather, a servant and a kind of brother. She is an innocent, naive girl who knows absolutely nothing about the world. So when she decides to go for a city tour, she has to face a totally unknown universe, she has never seen so many people, it’s a new thing. But on her way she meets a mature woman, owner of a brothel. She does not know yet but it’s her mother.
Ho Meng Hua comes to nuance his words and leaves his character free to choose and understand his past. When she discovers her mother, she realizes that her father has lied to her for ever, she takes affection for her mother without seeing her vice. Then she understands why her father lied to her, so she goes back to him. The girl through her experience comes to choose on which side it must be.
With this story, Ho Meng Hua portrays an unhealthy world, the city perfectly embodies all the vices of human nature like bets, brothel, crowd. Similarly, each character represents a specific value, the father is devoted to his daughter, the mother is a vicious person … Nevertheless, the film suffers from fairly average fighting which impose itself more as obligations of the kind than as the will of the director. It is absolutely necessary to rhythm the film by fighting which in fact replace any speech supposed to serve as settling of accounts.
There are the few battles with the famous sword that attract attention, you can not miss the golden sword that breaks the other blades and blind the opponents, it is one of the only points on which Ho Meng Hua drops a bit with the scene of the burning forest.
Vengeance is a Golden Blade is not a remarkable film of Ho Meng Hua, if the story is sympathetic, it suffers cruelly from the comparison with Killer Darts, film in which Ho Meng Hua always remained on alert to place some small ideas of Its vintage. The theme of Vengeance is still nice and interesting, it is served by a rather varied history with always a few little twists to keep us in breath. Vengeance remains an honest wu xia pian fulfilling very well the hard task of entertaining us.