Savior of the Soul

1991, NR Directed by Corey Yuen-Kwai, David Lai. Starring Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Anitia Mui Yim-Fong, Aaron Kwok Fu-Sheng.

REVIEWED By Joey O'Bryan, Fri., Oct. 11, 1996

As incomprehensible as Akira, and as forcefully stylized as Blade Runner, Saviour of the Soul is a hyperkinetic amalgam of Chinese ultra-violence, creepy twin sisters, flying priestesses, and mangled English subtitles. A “city soldier” (Lau) must take up arms against a malevolent, wandering warrior -- the Silver Fox (Kwok) -- intent on killing him and his partner/lover, an exotic James Bondian woman with deadly good looks. And, really, that's about all the plotline you'll be getting from me because, really, that's about all the plotline you'll get. It's nice, sometimes, to know you can go to a movie and leave your brain at home, and Saviour of the Soul is just the trick. Exhilaratingly overwrought, directors Yuen and Lai submerge you in what may or may not be a future world/parallel universe/whatever chock-full of gory mayhem (the opening scene of the Silver Fox pirouetting through the air and turning an entire army of police into cube steak is a knockout setpiece) and bewildering intrigue. Kwok's Fox (say that three times fast) is a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in what is apparently a Kevlar-insulated cloak. He speaks little, overacts much and has the gaudy appeal of the classic Hollywood villains. With his prematurely graying hair and his unerring swordsmanship, he makes a powerful nemesis to Lau's unfailingly upright city soldier. All this aside, be advised the whole thing makes no sense whatsoever. Despite that minor drawback, though, it's still a lot of noisy fun.

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