Directed by John Woo • 1979 • Hong Kong
Starring Damian Lau, Wei Pai
Before he became known as the master of the bullet-riddled heroic tragedy, John Woo sharpened his trademark themes and kinetic action choreography with this whirlwind wuxia spectacle. Unaware they are caught in a deadly game of deception, a pair of rambunctious swordsmen (Wai Pak and Damian Lau) join forces to help a nobleman (Lau Kong) in his quest for vengeance. Paying thrilling homage to his mentor, martial-arts innovator Chang Cheh, Woo delivers both bravura swordplay set pieces and a bloodstained interrogation of the meaning of brotherhood and honor in a world in which loyalty is bought and sold.