Judge Archer review by Bobby Blakey
Being a martial artist I make time to watch pretty much any martial arts film that I can find for both the entertainment value and seeing the martial arts in action. Like any film they are it and miss with more missing than anything else. The latest, Judge Archer looks to bring the action to the masses in epic fashion, but does it offer up the much anticipated action or will it be a fight not worth standing up for?
Judge Archer follows 1920s China, where Judge Archer takes on the dangerous job of settling disputes between warring schools of martial arts. When a mysterious woman asks him to avenge her father’s murder, Archer poses as a fruit seller in a distant town to stake out his prey. To distract and seduce Archer, the clever killer sends a gorgeous woman, who proves to be a talented warrior herself. This action saga portrays knife, spear, and arrow battles, plus historic fighting methods never before seen on film. Movies like this always seem like they should be a home run because no matter what if they can offer up some great action you can ignore most everything else. Sadly the fighting in this film is average at best and mostly forgettable. It’s not fair for this film to be compared to films like Ip Man or The Raid because it doesn’t even come close and that is the problem. They have taken an interesting story and opportunities and for some reason failed to execute. There are a few where they got better as it moved forward, but there are so many that come off more amateur that hardcore fans of the genre will likely feel let down pretty early on.
Visually this film works and offers up more of the classic period look and feel, but can never fully capture the magic this film could have had. If you are a hardcore fan then you will no doubt want to give this film a chance and I recommend doing just that as everyone will no doubt react to it differently. Decide for yourself and grab your copy of Judge Archer available now on DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.