The real world in the background is fascinating, a dystopia in which everybody just gave up life and has receded into nostalgic fantasy. The big fight in this movie is a fight for Too bad it hardly comes into focus or its (darker) thematic implications are really dealt with in any way, some pat sentences aside. A.I., this is not. The main story and character are whatever, his monologue and dialogue excruciating. Rylance is good though.
Given that this one wasn't directed by either King Hu or Tsui Hark I kinda expected it to be a lesser film, but was so so wrong. Yes, stylistically it's a slightly lesser film than it's predecessor but it makes up for that with Brigitte Lin as a man who had to turn into a woman to achieve ultimate martial arts skills and magic powers. And what skills and powers they are! The ruminations on the cruelty of the world and the tragedy of the love quadrangle manage to work amidst the crazy fantasy, too, somehow.