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Film / The Invincible Sword

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Killing is as easy as breathing. Especially if you're Jimmy Wang-yu.

The Invincible Sword is a 1971 martial arts historical epic film set in the Song Dynasty, starring Jimmy Wang Yu, Chang Yi, Yueh Hua and Hsu Feng.

When Minister Yue-fei, a heroic general loyal to the imperial court, is framed and arrested by Lord Chin-kuei, who intends to overthrow the Dynasty and rule the kingdom with an iron fist, a band of warriors and patriots, led by Yu-feng (Jimmy) and Sima Chang-hung (Chang) attempts to mount a daring rescue. But after the rescue attempts ends in failure resulting in Yu-feng being the only survivor, he gets rescued by the Song sisters, a pair of travelling acrobats, who are sympathetic to his cause and decides to assist Yu-feng to prevent the kingdom from falling under the rule of tyranny.

It's also the movie for you, if you're interested in seeing a lone dude killing 286 people onscreen in 90 minutes.

The Invincible Sword includes examples of:

  • Action Girl: The Song family sisters, a pair of acrobats who joins Yu-Feng in his quest to rescue Minister Yueh. They are capable of kicking plenty of ass against faceless mooks, although against
  • Annoying Arrows: Subverted; the patriots have no problems holding their own when facing individual archers, but they can be overwhelmed when too vastly outnumbered. Such is the fate of Yu Feng.
  • Anyone Can Die: Even Yu-feng The Hero.
  • Badass Crew: The Ming patriots led by Yu-feng and Sima Chang-hung. Later, there is the Song sisters assisting Yu-feng for the finale.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Subverted with the Chin army leader, who wears a chainmail glove which he used to grab his opponents' swords.
  • Boxed Crook: When finally uncovering Minister Yueh in their rescue mission, the elder Song sister finds the Minister trapped in a cage in this manner.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Yu-feng, in his last moments of the film. Even after sustaining one injury after another and getting nailed by dozens of arrows, he still managed to kill every last enemy soldier alive, including the archers, and then execute the leader of Chinís army before he expires.
  • Dual Wielding: Yu Fong uses two swords at the same time during the big fight scenes, which allows him to kill twice as many mooks, twice as fast.
  • Dying Smirk: Right before succumbing to his wounds, Yu-feng lets out a loud, satisfied laugh as he delivers the killing blow on his last enemy, the leader of Chin's army. Moments before he too succumbs to the numerous injuries he accumulated throughout the finale.
  • The Hero Dies: But itís a Dying Moment of Awesome, considering he killed over 250 enemies before he expires.
  • Hero Killer: The unnamed leader of Lord Chin's army kills several members of the patriots who tries to invade, including Yu-feng's close friend Sima Chang-hung.
  • Human Pincushion: Yu-feng, after killing what seems like 200 enemies, finally expires when half a dozen archers nails him with their arrows.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: Lodged Arrow Recycling. In the final battle, Yu-feng gets an arrow through his kneecap. He merely pulls it out and hurls it through the throat of the archer who shot him.
  • The Not-Love Interest: The Song sisters towards Yu-feng; despite them saving his life early in the movie and fighting side-by-side with him, ultimately nothing comes up between them, and their relationship are closer to comrades in battle. Even after Yu-fengís death, the sisters mourns him only as the passing of a friend and brother figure.
  • One-Man Army: Towards the end of the movie, every named character has died, and the Song sisters are tasked with escorting Minister Yueh out of the fortress, leaving behind Yu-feng and over a hundred enemy soldiers. Yu-feng proceeds to carpet the fortressí courtyard with loads and loads of dead bodies buying time for the sisters and the Minister to flee.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Sima Chang-hung, played by Chang-yi, another Shaw Brothers alumni who had plenty of martial arts movies under his belt, only serves to be killed by the Chin army's leader to establish the leader as a threat.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Lord Chinís soldiers consist of a platoon of shield-wielding soldiers who tries to trap their enemies by using their shields as makeshift walls to corner them. Against Yu-feng however, the entire platoon still gets wiped out in minutes.
  • Spoiler Cover: Well, Spoiler Lobby Card, but there are promotional lobby cards that depict Yu-feng in his final scene, having been skewered by dozens of arrows.
  • Storming the Castle: The patriot swordsmen repeatedly attempt this when trying to invade Lord Chin-kuei's fortress, facing off against Lord Chin's army despite being outnumbered. For the climax, it's Yu-feng and the Song sisters battling their way through hordes and hordes of soldiers to rescue Minister Yueh.
  • Sword Fight: See the title?
  • Taking You with Me: Yu-feng, after being skewered by multiple arrows and fighting the leader of Lord Chinís army, decides to force the arrowheads protruding out his chest right into his last opponentís, before he succumbs. It works.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: The unnamed leader of Lord Chin's soldiers wears a chainmail gauntlet in his right hand that allows him to grab the swords of patriots fighting him. This weapon allows him to take down more than one named character throughout the film.
  • White Shirt of Death: Played straight for Yu-Feng, who wears white throughout the entire film. His white shirt becomes splattered with red by the final battle, even as he kills off the last enemy remaining before he succumbs.
  • Wire Fu: Most of the patriot leaders including Yu-feng, as well as both the Song sisters, who can cross the fortresses walls In a Single Bound thanks to some impressive wireworks.
  • Zerg Rush: Lord Chinís army, against the patriots, who attacks in platoons of several dozens all at once. Right in the finale, with Yu-feng as the lone survivor, more than a hundred of them attempts to swarm him from all directions, only to end up falling to his sword.