Spotlight on Asian Cinema presents My Own Swordsman

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Beijing Union Film Investment Co.

MPAA Rating: N/A

Director: Jing Shang

Review Rating: 8 Girly Gameshow-Host Giggles

A thieving Official involves several prominent townspeople and a Blessings Inn in his scheme to escape revenge from an angry palace Eunuch!

A Chinese, Mandarin to be specific, movie that has little bits of just about everything all tossed together in a completely playful manner. We have the greedy and desperate Shopkeep, who never ceases complaining or scheming for more money, but who just wants whats’ best for everyone, with a little gold on the side. Her young and attractive Husband knows next to nothing about business, but is always ready to use his Sunflower technique or whatever to defend his wife. His sister is the only Female Cop in town, and of course she has a co-worker who has unrequited love for her that actually saves them both from an assassin! And speaking of assassin, there is of course one of those characters too – the Assassin with the white streak in his hair, who shows up from nowhere with his abacus of death and accounting, the proverbial Bad Guy. We have the Philosopher, whose only weapon is words and yet still he manages to confound the Enemy on occasion, and his pregnant if not dangerous Wife. And lastly we have the Official, on the run from the machinations of the Palace and the Law, scattering paper money in his attempts to cover his ass!

It very much reminded me of Kung Fu Hustle, and I did so enjoy that movie. Not as much fighting as KFH, but the style of film-making is very similar, almost slapstick. Like everything that goes into the Chinese cooking pot, we have a little of all – the pause for a narration like at a Beijing Opera; the wire-fu and flying over people’s heads; the prize winning gameshow hosted by two giggling girls with cartoon graphics; the Chinese version of a bull stampede of humanity; even the unrequited modern love song sung by a pair of Mandarin ducks, as in characters, not fowl. All the main characters seem to be beloved stories that one could find anywhere, not just in China, it strikes me that with only a few small changes it would make a great Greek farce, and I do mean that in the nicest possible way. I would like to reference the actors and other things they’ve done, some of them do look familiar, but it just isn’t meant to be. Instead here is a list of them, in the hopes that you might recognize some – Yan Ni, Sha Ni, Yao Chen, Yu Entai, Ni Hongjie, Jiang Chao, Xiao Jian, Wang Lei, Wu Ma, Lemon Zhang, and Yue Yueli. My Own Swordsman gets a whopping over the top rating of 8 Girly Gameshow-Host Giggles!


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