Far more deterministic than Come Drink With Me in its philosophical underpinnings, Chang Cheh's Golden Swallow exchanges the elegance of Hu's formal style for a more rugged, tortured display of the warrior ethos, featuring action set-pieces that are equally dynamic but more coarse in their physics - the weight of the violence exhibited with consistent clarity. Featuring a narrative framework revolving around a mysterious, vengeful warrior from Golden Swallow's past in Silver Roc, whose actions are rooted punitive justice, Cheh's film's schematic construction is one that looks to the past with less romanticism and more stone-cold resolve, elucidating the film's themes related to the tenets of the warrior ethos, deconstructing how the warrior's code is one completely devoid of individualist attainment or affect - the Nobel warrior must obfuscate their own desires to serve the warriors code. Notions of justice become less palpable or normalized, the dichotomous nature of good vs. evil is eschewed, and yet it's only through sacrifice and righting the perceived wrongs of injustice which Silver Rock, a flawed by ambiguously-just character, finds a Nobel end to hits tortured soul in which he himself does not survive. For Chang Cheh, the nobility of the system and its institutions is meaningless if justice is not served
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