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I'd like to bring to your attention a movie that I have recently had the pleasure of seeing that I'm sure will excite any fan of the martial arts movie genre..The film is called " The Final Master" by writer/director Xu Haofeng, which I believe is a classic and transitive martial arts film that will,if built upon, move the martial arts genre to another level. For the martial arts fight fan the film is filled with inventive and skillfully conceived martial arts action sequences that will excite, surprise and amaze you and for the average moviegoer presents the martial arts film aesthetic within a captivating story with powerful dramatic conflict and fascinating characters.that offers a great time at the movies that anyone can relate to.
Comparisons will be made to movies like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon , Hero and Ip Man but I believe it is superior to them all in the way it honors the martial arts movie genre while at the same time transcending it.Its foundation is a genre trope that fans know all too well. A martial arts master travels to a foreign city to make a name for himself and his style. While most martial films would stop at this point the writer/director Haofeng ventures much deeper to construct a multi layered tapestry of trust, loyalty, love, betrayal and personal struggle that vacillates between a delicate touch and a hammering iron fist. This range of conflict is what distinguishes it and gives this film its impact.
What I enjoy most about this film is how the director does an excellent job of blending dramatic conflict and martial arts action.so that every fight in the film is essential in propelling the story forward and sets the stage for escalating dramatic conflict that makes the fighting pay off in emotionally powerful ways.. And this does not take away from the spectacular action is that is on display here as the fight choreographers did a tremendous job of juxtaposing spectacular and complicated fight sequences with a seemingly true to life realism that elevates it above most martial arts exploitation fare. This is less a martial arts movie per se and more of a dramatic story with some of the most powerfully executed realistic looking martial arts you have ever seen on film, its subtle power is truly breathtaking..Oh yes .. I forgot to mention that most of the fights are done in close quarter with razor sharp blades.
Martial arts movies are oftentimes, and deservedly so, relegated to second class cinema, but with a compelling dramatic story and dynamic fight sequences blended together to form an organically entertaining cohesive whole, it is movies like " The Final Master" that will demonstrate why fans of the genre love these movies and why it is that films of this caliber that will keep the genre alive and growing for many years to come. The Final Master is a significant milestone in the evolution of martial arts cinema.
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