THE LEGEND OF WISELY blu-ray review

Hong Kong Region A blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 2.39:1

Cantonese: Dolby TrueHD 7.1

Mandarin: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (dub)

Subtitles: English


MOVIE: 8.5






The Legend of Wisely is one Hong Kong film from the 1980s that I had never heard of before hearing about this blu-ray release. And what an awesome surprise this film was! The Legend of Wisely is sort of like a better version of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Just replace the alien skull with an alien pearl, and there’s your Chinese Indiana Jones!

The movie flows more like a Hollywood movie (Indiana Jones or James Bond) rather than like a typical Hong Kong film – this is what makes the film so special. While the movie has awesome well-filmed fight scenes and impressive 1980s special effects, the main stars of the movie are the cinematography and all the exotic locations. The acting is overall pretty good except for the cheesy white people villains whom were probably dubbed. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen the main actor Samuel Hui in a movie before, but he has an interesting presence. It was nice to watch a totally professionally-made Hong Kong action movie that didn’t star some huge superstar.

I didn’t think that Fortune Star could surprise me after seeing so many of their low-quality blu-rays from their classic Hong Kong film catalog, but I’m happy to report that the blu-ray is the first really impressive blu-ray from Fortune Star. This is the first time where the video quality really looked like a remastered blu-ray for a change. All scenes, including night or dark cave scenes, were excellent quality! Everything in the foreground to the background bursted with color and crispness. The video is totally clean and spotless. The main negative is that the faces may lean towards reddish than more natural colors, but it’s pretty minor considering that the rest of the blu-ray quality is awesome and that the rest of the Fortune Star blu-rays are not such great quality. The video quality on this blu-ray is a lot better than the Armor of God 2 blu-ray by the way (two movies with similar exotic filmed locations).

The Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio is pretty solid. It’s as good as the usual Fortune Star blu-ray audios as long as you don’t mind that it doesn’t include the original audio – it’s just another Fortune Star 1.1 HD soundtrack. The audio is totally clear, with action and subwoofer mixed very well into it. Overall, the audio is a totally pleasing experience – no complaints there.

The English subtitles weren’t as bad as expected. Most Hong Kong home videos have pretty bad English subtitles the further away you get from year 2000. But surprisingly the Chinglish wasn’t as bad as on the other Fortune Star blu-rays for films from the 1980s-1990s.

The only extra is the trailer for the film in 1080p.

The Legend of Wisely is totally entertaining and fast-paced with not a moment of filler. I highly recommend this film and one of Fortune Star’s best blu-rays! I doubt this film will ever get another English-subtitled blu-ray release, so this is the best home video version that exists and that will most likely exist. So here’s your “Criterion blu-ray version” of The Legend of Wisely. Enjoy!

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