EYE FOR AN EYE: THE BLIND SWORDSMAN, the martial arts-packed adventure stars Xie Miao (Ip Man: The Awakening, The New Legend of Shaolin).
Written and directed by Bingjia Yang (Fight Against Evil 2), Eye For An Eye: The Blind Swordsman is available to enjoy on Digital via Well Go USA and Blu-ray and DVD from Amazon!
Former child star Mo Tse/Xie Miao stars as “Cheng Xiazi/ Blind Cheng”. Born in Beijing, Xie Miao won championship titles in several wushu tournaments. Xie rose to fame in 1994 playing Jet Li’s son not only in in director Wong Jing’s box-office hit “The New Legend of Shaolin“, but also the popular “My Father is a Hero”.
Having appeared in productions such as “Return of God of Gamblers” starring Chow Yun Fat, Xie took a break from film work to focus on his school education.
In 2006, he graduated from the Capital Institute of Physical Education (CIPE) in Beijing and resumed his acting career. He rose to prominence once more in the Chinese television hit series “Legend of Shaolin Temple” in 2006 and the film “The Kung Fu Master” in 2010. Since reviving his film career, Miao has had prominent roles in productions such as Yuen Woo Ping’s wuxia fantasy “Thousand Faces of Dunjia” and also “Ip Man: The Awakening”.
The rest of the cast is made up by newcomer Gao Yi, Zhang Haosen (Fight Against Evil franchise), Gao Weiman (Tang Men), Xiang Hao (A Round Trip to Love franchise), Liu Ben (Animal World), and Zhang Di (The Warrior From Sky).
Bounty hunter Blind Cheng meets Ni Yan, a restaurant owner’s daughter who suffered a family massacre and rape.
Cheng, struggling with his own dark forces, reluctantly steps in to seek justice for Ni Yan.
As the truth behind the tragedy comes to light, the former killer-for-hire decides to hunt down his prey for an entirely different reason: rage.
The film opens with the text, “Kill a person in ten steps. No one can escape”, setting the tone for a moodily lit scene between two gamblers.
The tension is slowly ratcheted up, notch by watch, as the blind gambler makes his way in slow motion through the rain.
The unscrupulous gambling house boss and his thugs confront the blind man to take his winnings.
The tension is broken in stylish fashion, as the blind man dispatches the thugs with devastating strikes and bone-crunching limb breaks.
A flashback shows a newlywed couples’ celebrations cruelly and brutally cut short, bringing swordplay into the mix. With the corrupt authorities failing to act, Ni Yan pleads for Blind Cheng’s help.
When Blind Cheng encounters the hyper-acrobatic, deadly double-hook wielding assassin, he must rely on his heightened senses more than ever. Despite the use of wires and slow motion, it makes for an incredibly energetic fight scene.
A flashback showing Cheng before he lost his sight in a wintry bloody battle, is beautifully filmed in slow motion, with swords slicing and dicing as the snow falls.
It’s a prelude for the beginning of the end, as the snowbound finale erupts in a display of frenetic high-speed weapons action.
As Blind Cheng ventures indoors, the camera moves continuously in 360° presenting the action in mesmerising, dizzying fashion.
This film came as a pleasant surprise. These types of production can often look like “made-for-TV” films, featuring over-the-top melodrama akin to a cheap soap opera.
This film however is beautifully filmed with some great-looking period sets, well-constructed dialogue, and for the most part, good acting performances, all backed by an appropriately epic music score.
The action scenes are especially well filmed, with some stylish, albeit functional martial arts choreography.
Where this film almost falls down is the pacing. The gaps between the action are pretty long. It just about gets away with it due to the overall short runtime, moderated melodrama, reasonably engaging plot and sumptuous visuals.
With any luck, if there is a sequel, it will be given a bigger budget and include more action.
Xie Miao showed exceptional promise as a youngster, and based on his performances as an adult, could fulfil that promise given the right project. This one comes close.
Fans of Chinese martial arts dramas should enjoy this gorgeously-filmed modern interpretation of a classic revenge story.
- Made on a relatively low budget, this was a modest box office hit in China, prompting rumours of a forthcoming sequel.
- Mo Tse/ Xie Miao, was a child star and appeared as Jet Li’s son in the movies “The New Legend of Shaolin” and “My Father is a Hero”.