Front cover of The Duel DVD.

The Duel



out of

Directed by:

Andrew Lau


Andy LauCool-Son Yeh
Ekin ChengSimon the Snow Blower
Nicky CheungDragon 9
Patrick TamEmperor

Writing Credits:

Wong Jing
Manfred Wong

Stunt Director

Tony Ching Siu Tung


From Asian Express



Video Signal:

Cool-Son Yeh, an invincible swordsman, challenges Simon the Snow Blower to a duel to determine who is the greater swordsman. The Emperor drafts Imperial Agent Dragon 9 to distribute 8 tickets to the event. In the process of determining the lucky spectators, Dragon 9 comes across clues pointing to a conspiracy close to the Emperor. The plot is intricate enough that the villain comes as a surprise yet not unforeshadowed. Warning: The DVD box that I had gave away way too much of the story so don't read the box if you can avoid it.
Do not see this movie expecting realistic or near realistic martial arts. Cool-Son Yeh is constantly performing "Heavenly Hovering Fairy" stance which involves zipping around above ground level. What it does have is some pretty cool wire and CGI enhanced fights. In the opener, for instance, Thief-Ghost, a villain, spins around at such great speed that he gathers up an enormous snowball with only his sword blades protruding and pursues Dragon 9. The fantastic fights are balanced by Dragon 9's gadgets. He has a bat-winged personal glider and an umbrella which does everything but keep the water off.
Aside from the action, the film is stunning. There are beautifully filmed mountainous vistas and equally well composed bar scenes.
On the DVD box, Andy Lau and Ekin Cheng are given top billing but they are really supporting characters who are not called upon to do much more than look awesome and pretend to fight. At this they excel.
The focus is actually on Dragon 9 and his investigations. My husband loved Dragon 9 and wants to see more Dragon 9 adventures. At first I found his vulgarity (early in the film, for example, Dragon 9 is fighting several women and remarks on their "big bums") a little hard to take but either it was toned down later in the story or he grew on me because I would definitely sit through more Dragon 9 stories.

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