A Touch of Zen

A Touch of Zen ★★★★★

It's probably a good five minutes before we see any human beings in A Touch of Zen - before that it's the title sequence, then some close-ups of insects in spider's webs, and various shots of water, trees, light, nature at rest. It's like a soft prayer before the story begins, and it's your first clue that this is no typical kung-fu action movie, containing almost none of the genre's usual concessions to audience attention spans. Even when the action does start up, it's pretty removed from the expected Shaw Bros. athleticism, instead punctuated by long stretches of patient waiting in between the jump-cut-aided fight choreography, just outside physical reality as we (think we) know it.

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