Directors: Kang Cheng, Shan Hua
Notable Cast: Ti Lung, Szu Shih, Lieh Lo, Szu Chia-Chen, Chung Wang, Feng Ku
After the success of "The Flying Guillotine" that spawned its own 'spin off' (pun intended) with "Master Of The Flying Guillotine," which is not a Shaw Bros. production, the Shaw studio went ahead with a sequel originally called "Palace Carnage," but will be called "Flying Guillotine 2" for this review. While I enjoyed the shit out of the original film with its strong plot, identifiable characters, and potent action, this sequel tends to lack a bit of the focus and drive that made the first one succeed. Despite its fun and pretty awesome premise, the execution seems to be lacking at times and it just leaves a film that doesn't quite live up to its predecessor.
Only a few years after Ma Teng (Ti Lung) effectively escaped the clutches of the Flying Guillotines, the rule of Emperor Yung Cheng (Feng Ku) has gotten worse. He uses the elusive assassins to reign tyrannically over the Han people. A group of heroes are hell bent to assassinate the power hungry Emperor and with the daughter of one of his close advisers (Szy Shih) they may have the opportunity. Unfortunately, the Emperor has developed a new 'double flying guillotine' to counter Ma Teng's iron umbrella and the heroes are left defenseless...will they be able to team up and defeat the tyrant once and for all?
|The gang's all here!
|Our new heroine makes a statement...
Secondly, I think the direction of the film tends to fail to support the stronger elements of its story. While the two directors do add some snazzy moments, including lots of dynamic shots and great cinematography, they add in some odd elements that didn't necessarily fit. They tend to play it too safe for the fight sequences, of which there is far more traditional choreography here instead of the cat and mouse fighting that occurred in the first film, and by the time we get to the big finale - they play the final moments in complete slow motion. Epic? Sure, but it's also very distracting and poorly shot making it lose a lot of momentum that could have made it even stronger.
|"Umm...shit...it's a double whopper!"
Written By Matt Reifschneider