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The Swordsman Review: Jang Hyuk Stands Out As Blind Fighter In Sluggish Period Action Fest

Indonesia action star Joe Taslim makes his Korean movie debut.

The Swordsman (NC16)

Starring Jang Hyuk Jang, JoeTaslim,

Directed by Choi Jae-Hoon

Zatoichi meets Fist of Fury in this intermittently exciting Joseon-era set actioner stars the reliably stoic Jang Hyuk as a visually-impaired master blade wielder and erstwhile royal guard drawn into a conflict involving slave traders from China (led by Indonesian martial arts star Joe Taslim, chewing scenery as the chief baddie). The Swordsman — filmed in 2017 but held up in purgatory over administrative issues until now — is frustrating to watch: it has a lot of slicing and dicing but feels underpowered and unfocused at time. The story is sluggish, bogged down by lacklustre characters and distracting political chicanery (which is better suited if this were a TV series). Of all the sword fights, the only one that truly matters is the final duel between Jang Hyuk and Taslim. (**1/2) 

Photo: Shaw Organisation

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