Triple Irons (1971)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Martial Arts  |   Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong  |   MPAA Rating - R
  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Review by

Triple Irons, better known to martial arts cinema devotees as New One-Armed Swordsman, is a great display of director Chang Cheh's skills as a visual stylist. Ni Kuang's script sticks to the elements that made the first two One Armed Swordsman films so popular, concentrating on streamlining them to their essentials while also adding in a few new wrinkles. The end result goes thoroughly over the top in its pursuit of melodrama (particularly in its depiction of male bonding between the heroes), but it provides a tight, exciting basis for an action film. Chang responds to the material by giving Triple Irons a highly stylized treatment that incorporates every visual trick he can dream up; slow motion, color filters, and many zooms are among the many devices deployed here. Chang also draws out equally stylized performances from David Chiang and Ti Lung; Chiang grabs the viewer's attention with his brooding, intense portrayal of the humbled hero, while Ti delivers the high level of charisma befitting his idealized-hero characterization. Both men also deliver the goods with acrobatic skill in the film's intense, bloody swordplay scenes, all of which are shot and edited for maximum impact by Chang. Combining these performances with his grasp of the visual, Chang cranks out one amazing set piece after another. The best is the amazing epic fight finale which features some astonishing swordplay on a bridge. In short, Triple Irons is easily one of Chang Cheh's best films and a must-see for students of his work.