The Flying Swordsman DVD Review


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Qiao Lei
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Zhao Huawei, Chen Yusi, Wu Yijiang, Zheng Haonan, Lu Liangwei
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 44 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ January 9, 2024

         It took a bit of searching online for information about the Chinese martial arts epic, The Flying Swordsman, before I realized the reason that I was finding little was because the title has been changed from the original translation, The Hidden Fox. The Hidden Fox may be a better name for the film’s narrative, though The Flying Swordsman is likely a choice intended to signal to audiences what genre this film falls into. Unfortunately, the storytelling is unnecessarily convoluted regardless of what it is called.


Even those who are unfamiliar with the genre term ‘wuxia’ are likely familiar with the fact that characters in these movies seem to defy gravity, almost even able to fly, if only thanks to the cultural phenomenon that was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The Flying Swordsman leans into the magical elements of this martial arts world, taking things a step further by giving the characters superhuman powers. A group of these evil mystical fighters set out to find a hidden fortress, unaware that there is a trap being set for them by a mysterious swordsman with a grudge from the past.


With eight villains in addition to the swordsman, whose history is revealed through non-chronological editing, there is a lot going on narratively and it is often hard to keep track of all the moving parts. While the film is consistently visually stunning, getting invested in the storyline can be difficult when there are so many characters to keep track of and the plot ungraciously jumps around in time to provide endless twists. In short, there is too much going on to be able to enjoy. I spent too much of the run-time trying to remember who everyone was and what was going on.


There is some decent action to be found, and with it often comes effective visual effects. The world-building and cinematography are not the problem, and had the story been told in a more enjoyable manner, it would be easy to praise The Flying Swordsman as a Chinese blockbuster. While some may have patience to enjoy the rewards this film can offer, there are flaws some will likely find too great to overcome.

There are no special features on the DVD.


Entertainment Value: 5/10

Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10

Historical Significance:  4/10

Special Features: 0/10

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