have managed to better capture the style and imagination of the
Manga on which they're based, than
Yuen Kwai and David Lai's 1991 collaboration.
Featuring some of the most sublime cinematography ever filmed, Saviour
Of The Soul was a prime candidate for a DVD makeover.
Trying to summarise the storyline is fairly difficult, partly because
it would ruin the film, but also because of its rather loose plotting.
In brief, Saviour Of The Soul revolves around a group of bounty
hunters played by Andy Lau, Anita Mui and Kenny Bee, whose lives
are endangered by the arrival of Silver Fox (Aaron Kwok) - an assassin
hell-bent on tracking down Anita in order to avenge his teacher's
Whilst not completely "style-over-substance", Saviour
Of The Soul's Manga roots come
back to haunt it, with many of its slapstick comedy scenes disrupting
the flow of the movie, and becoming tiresome on repeat viewings.
However, the more dramatic elements of the plot, namely Lau and
Mui's relationship, are handled effectively, adding some much needed
depth - something often absent from the genre.
Although not overflowing with action, those scenes containing it
are expertly handled, mixing wire-work,
swordplay and large doses of
previously, this is a film which relies heavily on its brilliantly
lit sets, and thankfully the transfer handles this aspect with ease.
Artifacting is virtually
nil, and although the print suffers from minor sparkles and wear
throughout, overall the visuals are superb.
The variety of colour used in the film is quite amazing, and this
Universe remaster pays full tribute to this facet, with beautiful
Universe release contained a 5.1 remix of the original stereo tracks,
and apparently added a great deal to the viewing experience, but
for some reason those tracks have been down-mixed to Mono.
Whilst they're fairly uninvolving, the mono tracks are more than
adequate, with only occasional distortion being evident.
area of the disc which would have benefited from more attention,
were the subtitles.
Many grammatical errors are present throughout, and whilst not incomprehensible,
they do become distracting at times.
with sharp, well-composed background images, the menus are easily
navigated and pleasing to the eye.
and trailers for A Moment Of Romance 2, I Have A Date With Spring,
and The Last Blood are the meagre extras provided on this disc.
Considering that the cast includes Anita Mui, Kenny Bee, Gloria
Yip, Carina Lau, Yuen Kwai and David Lai, Universe's paltry Star
Files for Andy Lau and Aaron Kwok are very disappointing.
Also, the theatrical trailer is sadly absent.
design features a nicely laid out selection of screenshots on both
its front and back cover.
Unfortunately, it also contains a plot synopsis bordering on the
comical, rife with grammar and spelling errors.
overly silly at times, Saviour Of The Soul is still an incredibly
entertaining feature, packed with innovative ideas and set-pieces,
allied with Peter Pau's world-class cinematography.
Not every element works, but those that do far outweigh those that
don't, creating a visually stunning and highly original movie.
As Remasters go, this is a release truly worthy of that title, and
one which should definitely take a well deserved place in your collection.