Movie Review: The Storm Riders
The story of this 90s film (1998) revolves around two characters namely Wind and Cloud. Wind is played by Aaron Kwok and Cloud is played by Ekin Cheng. I hardly know much about Kristie Yang but she is pretty gorgeous in this film, which leads to the love triangle of Wind and Cloud. The story itself was later succeeded by another film called Storm Warriors where both character reprise their roles but in a more in my generation setting. Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng are two legends in one film facing against the Japan Action Club founder Sonny Chiba.
For Lord Thunder, he hears the prophecy from the Mud Buddha that if he takes Wind and Cloud in, he will get good fortune. However if the the two will unite, he is definitely bound to be defeated. One can see that Lord Thunder is a pretty manipulative fellow. The key word ahem key character to his manipulation of Wind and Cloud is his daughter Charity. Charity is undecided which man she loves and this causes some trouble for Wind and Cloud, as Lord Thunder hoped to avoid his downfall. He doesn't want to be overthrown and like every Wuxia big bad, they love being manipulative. He also wishes to get rid of Sword Saint, so his clan or better yet said, HIM, he wants to conquer the world. For Sonny Chiba, I would say he really knows how to play the cruel Lord Thunder well.
Lord Thunder takes no dilly dally to get whatever he wants. He demands that every boy who is born with a sign of Wind and Cloud be taken into the Conquer Clan as a disciple. He is not one to show honor and he is well, an invader. He really wants to to be on the top and will do anything to get that Persian box revealed by Mud Buddha open. Like most Wuxia big bads, world domination has always been their aim. I would say he is one depraved big bad considering he stole Prince's wife for himself. And this of course, he manipulates events just to get that Blizzard Sword. For the whole duel scenes, I could really love how Sonny Chiba really, REALLY makes awesome moves which isn't surprising for the founder of Japan Action Club. This also results to dramatic moments to when Prince's wife commits suicide for somehow agreeing to her adulterous affair with Lord Thunder. Cloud is the son of Prince and his wife. Lord Thunder continues his quest for power, Thulsa Doom (Conan movie version) style with rampaging villages like every evil warlord does it.
Watching how Wind and Cloud progress was fun to watch. They al grow up together with Charity who becomes the center of the love triangle, and Lord Conquer's key to preventing the prophecy. That is because Lord Conquer only discovers it later from Mud Buddha that the two when united, will destroy him. So what does he do? He becomes manipulative to use his own daughter against the two. While he does have Frost (his adopted son), Cloud and Wind as his forces. For Lord Conquer, the world revolves around him and he must have his duel with Sword Saint and WIN. But he cannot allow his two members Wind and Cloud to unite. Wind tries to court Charity but she is having an affair with Cloud which complicates matters. If the two can't unite, Lord Conquer can't be defeated though prophecy must and will be fulfilled isn't it? He also is after the Ultimate Sword which plays an important part in his downfall.
For Mud Buddha, he was punished by the gods with boils because he couldn't keep his mouth shut. This quest was done because Lord Conquer could not open that box which reveals something he wanted to know. His desire for power was the central to his plot, wanting to be on top of everyone as a power hungry individual. Later the Mud Buddha who was captured, opens the puzzle and it is at this point Lord Conquer is aware of the prophecy of his downfall. Things get more complicated when Lord Thunder uses his daughter further to prevent their unity. He arranges the marriage of Wind and Charity. Like every cunning warlord, Lord Conquer knows the circumstances like Charity's affair with Cloud. This of course breaks into chaos but at the same time, he ends up losing his beloved daughter because of his greed. Cloud who was in love with Charity, tries to fight Wind which was all arranged. But this plan to kill Cloud only backfired because he killed his own daughter Charity instead. For a bad guy, he still did have feelings for his daughter but shamefully, he manipulated her for his own selfish ends.
However the prophecy was going to fulfill itself anyway. It's amazing to think how Cloud could RIP his own arm off and use his blood and some water to create an escape. At this point, Lord Conquer is stil deterined to win at any point possible. I really think that Cloud's love for Charity had gone necrophilic since he wants to preserve her body with the Ice Vigor from the Phoenix Family. Muse and her father Yu nurse Cloud back to health. Here Cloud gains a second arm with Yu's arm, the fire arm rejected Yu and wishes to be bound to Cloud instead. Meanwhile the manipulative Lord Conquer also seeks to prevent the prophecy again. What does he do? He sends Wind to find the Bodhi fruit but secretly poisons the later. However Lord Conquer's actions only further lead to his downfall and yes, his downfall. Along the way, Wind finds his father's Blizzard Blade and defeats the Fire Beast which killed his father. Cloud trains himself with the help of Muse.
What was interesting about this was that both Wind and Cloud unite. Lord Conquer has defeated the Sword Saint and has even murdered his adoptive son Frost. Frost had learned of his adoptive father's selfish ambitions and died as a result. With the prophecy on, I really love how the Ultimate Sword falls into the hands of Cloud and how the two unite. Lord Conquer is defeated and left tormented by the ghosts of all he killed, including his beloved daughter Charity. Karma's a bitch and I love how this film ends.
My rating? 9/10. A very good Wuxia movie.