There's actually a fair amount of energy in this film, but ultimately its part of a trend in Hong kong cinema for "enhancing" martial arts action with CGI. Its not new for fights to be manipulated in this way. Many stars are not fighters, and their combat is cunningly edited to convince us otherwise, or they perform gravity-defying feats thanks to wires and pulleys and other tricks. CGI takes the constructed nature of martial arts to a different zone, and for a while, its been interesting to see how the technology is incorporated into Hong Kong cinema (where its a recent addition to the technical arsenal). In the films of Andrew Lau (not to be confused with the film's star and all round heart-throb Andy Lau), the technology is used to create elemental effects, with all kinds of spectacular things happening with clouds, ice, water and snow. What is lost as a result is the sheer breathless excitement of watching two powerful warriors duke it out with fist, foot and blade. When the great swordsmen in "The Duel" finally face each other (and its a long time coming, especially since the showdown is disappointingly brief), they end up assaulting each other with... well, energy. A sword would have done the trick, but these guys would rather fight with lightning. OKay, this is all well and good - its based on a legend of a fight between the greatest swordsmen ever, so it must be made to look special. However, the film doesn't build up much suspense. We are not made to really care about who will win. Where the film scores highly are in the scenes between Vicki Zhao (Zhao Wei) and Nick Cheung. Zhao is particularly charming, and their interplay is the core of the film. The two warriors generally mope around for most of the film - Ekin Cheng is almost entirely absent from the screen for the first hour. CGI will be a great asset to Hong Kong directors once the novelty wears off - it can be used to create the image of superhuman characters doing amazing things, but the problem is that it often makes the same characters seem untouchable and inhuman.