Two martial arts experts join forces against a deadly foe in The Secret Rivals, an often overlooked gem of martial arts cinema.
The Secret Rivals is set in an unnamed village in Korea, where the exiled Prince Huo (Lee Ye-min) is hiding out after masterminding a gold robbery several years back. Huo learns that General Sun will be arriving in Korea within a week to investigate the robbery, and he will be accompanied by the famous martial artist Shen Ying-wei. To make matters worse for Huo, his top fighter, The Silver Fox (Hwang Jang-lee) is nowhere to be found. (Apparently, it isn't unusual for him to disappear and reappear at random). Fearing Shen Ying-wei's prowess, Huo holds a martial arts tournament to find a new bodyguard that can kill Shen - and then be eliminated when he's of no more use. (Yeah, brilliant plan, back-stabbing and murdering someone capable of taking out a highly skilled martial artist just so you don't have to pay him. Let me know how that works out for you.)
John Liu's so-far unnamed character: I'm Hsiao Yi-fei!
Shen Ying-wei: Oh my God, you're Hsiao Yi-fei!
Me: Oh my God, he's Hsiao Yi-fei! Wait...why is that a big deal?
Unlike Shen Ying-wei, who is built up as this amazing fighter that everyone except Silver Fox is afraid of, the name Hsiao Yi-fei is never mentioned once until he reveals it after about an hour. Yeah, if they'd mentioned him earlier, his identity wouldn't be any more of a surprise than Shen Ying-wei's identity, but better that than a surprise that doesn't surprise because of lack of context.