If loads & loads of fight action featuring John Liu & Angela Mao is enough to get by on, then The Two Great Cavaliers (Chi hung seung saat; aka, 2 Great Cavaliers; or, Blade of Fury; or Deadly Duo, 1978) is good stuff.
It has nice looking costumes, gorgeous heroes, & one great heroine with several reasonably good fight scenes. Little else can be expected.
It's a crappy story overall. Ah Cheng (John Liu) has found love with wussy cute-bot Fung Cheng (Lam Mei Wing) & wants to retire from the martial world to live a long life with her. He never knew butchy-butchy Tsu Mei (Angela Mao) had a major crush on him until she started being rude & jealous toward Ah Cheng.
Manchu spies & soldiers are after a list of rebels that one of our rebel heroes stole, a certain Ka Yan (Leung Kar-Yan) who got poisoned while stealing the list & is in crippling pain from which he is apt at any moment to drop dead.
Ka Yan therefore needs Ah Cheng's expertise in acupuncture to negate the poison. So Ka Yan's comrades, instead of rushing to his aid, waste time on several fights at an inn while waiting around a long time for a friend they merely fight with when he arrives, & then visit a mountain-top for what reason I will not presume to guess, pursued by a chap named The Flying Knife (Shut Chung-Tin), then return to the inn for some more fights there, & otherwise dawdling while Ka Yan waits for the poison cure.
At long long last our heroes decide to set out on the road toward their home village in pursuit of just that mission to save suffering Ka Yan, which mission is itself only an excuse for more fights on the road, until they get where they're going & cross the path of laughable traps to reach home where they have more fight scenes before leaving the village by some other route that has no traps to evade for one last fight in the forest.
The majority of the fight scenes have very little plotted reason to happen, but boil down to "You're a butthead! Let's fight!" Stupid stuff, but you can't argue against Angela Mao Ying's beauty when she's kicking & punching & sword-swinging or dashing at a semi-bad good guy with a spear despite that he's in love with her.
Apparently unavailable in its original language subtitled, a viewer is stuck with typically crummy though not the worst there is dubbing. Since it's so nonstop action packed, they're really not talking that much anyway. It's at least letterboxed, & the cinematography ain't all bad, so letterbox is a good thing. Then again there's the additional problem of those ridiculous sound-effects where every moving elbow, air-punch, kick, or even a slowly moving finger makes the same "Whoosh!" sound.
'Tis films like this that the demeaning genre term "chop sockie" best fits, & yet in its own lame way it's a fun film. And it's definitely Angela Mao who saves the thing, as it just adds so much extra oomph to have at least one woman among all the macho cretins strutting about fighting for an hour & a half.
It's impossible to figure out with any certainty who among the large cast are "the" two cavaliers. One of the possibilities is already dead before the final five-against-one battle with the ultimate bad guy (Cheng Sing), who almost doesn't lose even though four "good" guys plus one gal gang up on him in an oh-so-unfair way.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl