The movie I’m most looking forward to seeing this week isn’t opening in Chicago, unfortunately, but at Skokie’s Crown Village 18. Flying Swords of Dragon Gate is the latest wuxia adventure by writer-director-producer Tsui Hark, one of Hong Kong’s most prodigious filmmakers and, as I’ve written elsewhere, one of the greatest entertainers in film history. Like Frank Tashlin or Joe Dante, Tsui often suggests a cartoonist set loose on physical reality: his characters freely break the law of gravity and change their appearances at will. His best films (Peking Opera Blues, Knock Off, Time and Tide) take place in a world in which anything is possible, and they make most other action movies feel dour and unimaginative by comparison.
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate was made for IMAX 3-D, and I suspect the movie will take full advantage of this often gimmicky format. As early as Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain (1983), Tsui has shown predilections for deep, seemingly infinite chasms and for characters flying straight at the camera—both of which should look fantastic on a giant screen and in three dimensions.