Too Many Slow Motion Sequences in Heavenly Sword Dragon Slaying Saber

heavenly sword dragon slaying saber poster 2019
Ever since I was a kid, watching kung fu movies and series has always been a treat.  The fast paced action, the leaps through the air and the graceful dodges the characters were all so wonderfully exhilarating to see.  With Heavenly Sword Dragon Slaying Saber 倚天屠龙记 adapted for the small screen once more, people were naturally excited for the new remake starring Joseph Zeng, Yukee Chen and Bambi Zhu

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Joseph Zeng as Zhang Wuji
While many had good things to say, it would seem that a lot of viewers were also put off by one glaring issue. There were reportedly 30 slow motions sequences in the first 10 minutes of the pilot episode alone.  Even a flying bird had a slow motion scene.  Many felt that the frequent use of slow motion in the show weakened the impact and urgency of the fight scenes.  

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Yukee Chen as Zhao Min
Jeff Chiang who directed the series after also working on the 2017 remake of Legend of the Condor Heroes has responded to the criticisms by saying that they used an advanced technique of filming with a high speed camera.  With the new filming process, he claims that the audience can see the movements more clearly and that people who think that the use of slow motion is a bug are only saying so in order to appear like they know what they're talking about.  

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Bambi Zhu as Zhou Zhiruo
Later on, he wrote a message on weibo to thank Jing Yong fans for taking the time to share their opinions. He says that they have weighed and considered everyone's opinions. With regards to the action scenes, they will try their best to improve it as soon as possible. He says that they are thankful for everyone's patience and tolerance. They don't wish to be perfect, but to do justice to those who love Heavenly Sword Dragon Slaying Saber. Many responded in turn with supportive comments including the cast who thanked the director for his hard work.

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While I agree that using slow motion can enhance some of the fight scenes, they should be used strategically and only to highlight certain moves.  Because too many slow motion sequences in a wuxia series really is a bit too much, don't you think?  

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3 comments:

  1. The slow mo scenes were excessive. I understand if they want to amplify certain moves, but they use it every 3 seconds in a fight scene.

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  2. A lot of c-drama wuxia these days has excessive use of slo-mo. Missed the good old days back in the 80's and early 90's the fight scene was much better whether it's stun double who did it or actor themselves.

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  3. Yeah I agree that it shouldn't have been utilized this much. I would've have preferred wide-shots, long takes with emphasis on speed and technique, but that's just my preference and I fear the stunt-work would be too taxing on actors.

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