It is said that the best martial art movies are those that do not have fighting but personal excellence. The heroes used in these films are those that transcend gravity, space and the limitations of the body and mind fears. For example, in a fighting movie, the characters are portraying hatred for one another by fighting, but in a martial arts movie, these characters tend to be celebrating their powers together with one another. This film is also one of those that have been known for its display of heroism and power and the victory of an individual over collectivism. The film increased the popularity of the strong heroes and was one of the first American films in a foreign language that gained so much popularity and praise.
The movie has been a presentation of complete levels of Tao, love, life, and tradition. It is basically a life story of Yu Chiao-lung (Jen) depicted showing an account of the way in which the real self can be seen and comprehended intuitively to the Tao. Jen’s journey can be described as the path from the dragon to the Phoenix, transformation of emotion to compassion or natural virtue to spiritual virtue. The film was based partially on the chivalric novel in China which gives a certain traditional representation in the characters. It not only emphasizes on the characters but also has a philosophical aspect included.
The main characters in the film are each significant in their own position and hold the certain touch of symbolism in their role. Li Mu-bai had entered a Taoist monastery and was becoming the expert of sword fighting in Wudan School and was a very well known person throughout China especially for his gungfu. He had a weapon, Green Destiny, and it was 400 years old and it had special powers. This shows that the sword holds symbolism in the film and throughout it is used as a special power rather than a weapon to harm others.