Monday, November 27, 2023

Eye For an Eye: The Blind Swordsman / 目中无人1 - Movie Review

The Movie: Eye for an Eye: The Blind Swordsman / 目中无人1

The Director: Bingjia Yang

The Cast: Xie Miao, Gao Yi, Zhang Haosen, Gao Weiman, Xiang Hao, Liu Ben, Zhang Di 

The Story: After stumbling into the aftermath of a brutal attack that resulted in an innocent man’s murder, a highly trained and exceptionally deadly swordsman temporarily sets aside life as a bounty hunter to investigate.

The Review:
There have been many "blind swordsman" movies over the decades of cinema and I feel like we can always use at least one more. Bingjia Yang's entry into what is basically a sub genre now is a pretty straightforward revenge tale that nowdays familiarly plays out like a JohnWick style movie. The hero, a bounty hunter named Cheng played by Miao Xie, takes on all comers and dispatches each one with efficiency and ruthless precision and you know there's little doubt that he'll be bested at any point but it's still a fun ride through all the carnage.

The action scenes aren't super violent but there's enough bloodshed, hacked off limbs, and arrows flying around to keep any fan of this type of action satisfied, even with a run time that is a very slim one hour and 14 minutes including the credits.I felt like anything more would have either bogged down the pacing in exposition or would have become overkill on the action side of things so for me it ended up being a perfect bit of escapism that didn't take up too much of my time. The fact that filmmakers feel every project needs to be almost three hours is honestly quite tiring and I'd love to see the trend revert back down to the one and a half to two hour range for the most part.

The casting all the way around is solid with Xie leading the way as the quitet, no nonsense personality you would expect from this type of character. The one thing the short run time prevents is any major investment in any of the characters including Cheng although the performances are worthy, there just isn't enough there for me to go all in emotionally. What I was left with is a fun, entertaining movie that doesn't require any mental or emotional heavy lifting and sometimes that bit of simple escapism is exactly what you want.

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