The Swordsman Review by Jamie M MacDonald

Every once in a while a film comes along that reads so well, you instantly know that you’re going to like it.

"Lunar year 1623, March 12th - Joseon`s 15th king , Gwanghae fled his palace to evade his foes”

Living a quiet life in exile, swordsman Tae Yul (Jang Hyuk) and his daughter Tae-ok are hidden away from the ever changing dynasties and the political turmoil, at the bottom of the mountain. Tae Yul`s eye sight is rapidly failing, in order to heal it. His daughter will persuade him to head down the mountain. But when lady from the west (Angelina Danilova) says she will make a deal. If Tae-Ok goes and works for the governor in his house, then she will cure Tae Yul`s failing eyesight. Tae Ok will do anything for her father, but in the mix of political turbulent times, and the changing of a nation. Tae ok is taken and so is the daughter of the governor by Gurutai (Joe Taslim). Now a father will do anything to get his daughter back, and a  Swordsman will show them why  he was once the most feared Swordsman of them all….

Every once in a while a film comes along that reads so well, you instantly know that you're going to like it. The Swordsman is one such film. I love a swords play film, from the swashbucklers of Hollywood to the amazing feats of Chinese swordplay films, to Japanese samurai films and of course now Korea has produced some brilliant ones as well. It`s a genre that I can't get enough off. I have watched The Swordsman, three times now. What`s not to like the mesmerizing performance from Jang Hyuk. He is just outstanding in this film. His movement during the fight scenes are hypnotic, as he moves with such grace. Joe Taslim is menacing as the main villain and plays it on the right side of sleaze. Expertly written and directed by Choi Jae-hoon, be prepared to watch perfection on screen, from the seamless editing to the stunning Cinematography from Sohn Won-ho  At a running time of just 101 minutes The Swordsman crams so much in as it builds up to an impressive finale between both Swordsmen. I'd say my favourite scenes are them all – yep I can't decide which to say here. When we finally see Tae Yul fight you know that he will do anything to get his daughter back. The moments in the mountain between father and daughter, are tender and caring in the film. For me these are the standout scenes and why we are treated to such beautiful and meticulous swordplay. The best shot sword fights on film for me since the original Rurouni Kenshin Trilogy. 

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