Too Many Slow-Mo Scenes for the New “Heavenly Sword and Dragon Slaying Sabre”

Slow motion scenes are no longer in the trend.

The new TV wuxia drama Heavenly Sword and Dragon Slaying Sabre <倚天屠龙记> is the newest adaptation of the Jin Yong (金庸) novel of the same name, the last of the Condor Trilogy. This new remake stars Joseph Zeng (曾舜晞) as Zhang Wuji, Yukee Chen (陈钰琪) as Zhao Min, and Zhu Xudan (祝绪丹) as Zhou Zhiruo.

The drama, which premiered on February 27, was highly anticipated, largely due to the critical successes of 2017’s adaptation of The Legend of Condor Heroes <射雕英雄传>, the prequel to Heavenly Sword.

But high anticipations lead to high expectations, and fans are disappointed to say that they are not impressed.

The new adaptation is “boring” and “hard to watch” according to many viewers, due to its overly stylistic slow mo scenes. Most fight scenes were presented in slow motion; in the first 10 minutes of the show alone, viewers counted over 30 different slow motion scenes.

Director Chiang Ka-chun (蒋家骏) expressed that the show was filmed using a high-speed camera capable of capturing images in a high speed, allowing detailed slow-motion action footage. He wanted to use that opportunity to present clearer, more sophisticated shots of fight sequences, and expressed, “I don’t understand why viewers thing it’s a bug. You spreading random hate just makes us look more professional.”


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. very disappointing to say the least. I was looking forward to it too… honestly Mainland martial arts these days (except 張紀中’s works) is a joke to HK/TW back in 90s.

  2. No no no no no no Slow motion is the most unprofessional thing ever for a Wuxia genre!

    Please only use slow motion only for parts that are only neccessary only. ONLY!

    Lots of idols today get praised for fighting in slow motion. But, for this drama, the actors are relatively still newbies. The genre is Wuxia. The novel is popular. And the past actors had played it really well. So of course viewers expectations are extremely high. This new adaptation is really disappointing but that’s not a big surprise.

    Even if they cannot fight, to the least the pace of the drama should be faster and clean. The acting should be nice and refreshing, which I’m not feeling any of that 🙁

    1. @davy the fight scenes is actually quite good choreographed but indeed due too many slow motions makes it a bit irritating to watch.. agree just use slow motions only as neccessiarly such as a critical hit. i rather watch bruce lee or jet li movies in full speed than seeing them fight with many slow motions scenes.

      1. @kolo No it was not even choreographed at all, I bet they cheaply came up with all the fighting themselves without any choreographer.
        This is a description of how they fight, so somebody throw something or punch in slow motion then the other person dodge in slow motion. After just 1 attacking move like that, it already lasted 5 seconds which is enough for them to move to a different type of move. Which is where one person fly into the air slowly, then somebody slowly attack with magic power and hit the person in the air. The person in the air slowly fly backward and hit some stuff that break slowly, and he got hurt. The injured person ran away so slowly that he wouldn’t have escaped if you would stop staring at him slowly and just attack him from the back. If it was choreographed, when you fast forward things they will still look ok, but for this drama it’s really hilarious I laughed so hard.

      2. @davy i think thats because most actors are not familiar with kung fu. most of them are not real wuxia actors like jet li or donnie yen. so when everythng is in slow motions then its much easier for them to perform some moves. so they try to compensate the lack of this with excessive use of cgi and slow motions.

  3. The slow-mo in every fight scene is really annoying but I am suffering through this because HSDS is one of my favourite Jinyong stories. But I probably won’t be able to stick it out for tmuch longer because the actor playing adult ZWJ is such a miscast. Almost wish they kept the child actor for the rest of it.

  4. Every director has his style. And if his artistic creative direction can bring in ratings and make the drama successful. That is a achievement.
    On the other hand, if the ratings are dropping and drama is unpopular. He needs to think about changing his professional direction.
    As his viewers are the best critics.

  5. Wuxia doesn’t need slow motion or CGI to work imo. The director wants to make slow mo fights just for the sake of being different without thinking if it is actually needed at all. So far I think the slow motion will kill the drama because it is in every episode, making it so unenjoyable. They better have a different version available without the slow motion or it will be undoubtedly the worst adaptation in history in every aspect.

  6. I am actually OK with the slow mo scenes. I prefer not to see them but it is not the worst thing. I really hate the look of the dragon slaying sabre. It keeps on getting close ups and i find it ugly and too thick. It reminds me of a metal cricket bat.

    I love the classic songs but why can’t they have their own themesong?

    1. @elizabeth
      Yeah it is ugly. I thought it looked like rocks, is it made out of rock?

      Is it even sharp to be a called a saber, or is it just a flat baseball bat?

      1. @davy I can see that they put a lot of effort to give it a lot of rough surface detail, but it still looks very ugly and bulky.

    2. @elizabeth the themesong was actually that from the 1994 version of dragon sabre which is in my opinion the best remake of jin yongs novel.

      1. @kolo I have no problem with the old songs and they are great. I get that this is probably paying tribute to the 94 version.

        I am just disappointed that the production team were unable to get a new wuxia-themed song written for this series and just used the main theme and subtheme of the 94 version instead. They have other songs by beautiful new voices like Zhou Chen and Hu Xia made for the more romantic themes but none for the wuxia element.

        The great and memorable themesongs of the classics instantly bring back memories of the series and the music and lyrics can create a wuxia atmosphere, even when hearing it many years after. I am just disappointed that this series does not have a unique wuxia themesong for it to call its own for people to remember it by years later.

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