Who is the master of swords?
We follow a half-blind swordmaster who has taken care of a girl since she was an infant. But when she is kidnapped, he will again draw his sword. On his journey, he will meet two other swordmasters he must fight against. Who will remain the undisputed swordmaster?
The South Koreans have never made good martial arts movies. It is not in their nature, it seems. The previous attempts have not been so much to brag about as they have always have shot and edited their martial arts movies in a bad and amateurish way. They can be called Asia’s shame with their track record of the martial arts movies they have made. I’ve watched the movies that are worth watching.
But with The Swordsman, they are on the right track. The action choreography is great, and the action scenes are properly shot and edited. It is easy to see what is going on during the hectic sword fights, so that is great! It is just a pity that the handsome Jang Hyuk is not a real martial artist, but he hides it well in The Swordsman.
What is not so good is the generic story. You could almost call The Swordsman a Taken clone. There’s a bit of politics and history here, but this is not a movie that has much to tell with its generic story and characters.
The only thing I found interesting is that the bad guys are untouchable. The Korean government can not interfere. If they did, things would just get worse. So their hands are tied when the slave traders kidnap women. But they have kidnapped the wrong girl this time. Liam Neeson will find them and snap their necks!
As a movie experience, The Swordsman does not increase the pulse with its generic plot. You know how this will end, and you’ve seen it so many times in other movies. But the movie has at least some great action scenes with a lot of blood, and the action choreography is great. Especially, when there are not too many characters on the screen. But it does not offer an engaging movie experience. The plot is too predictable.