I've seen tons of reviews for this, one of my favorite Shaw Brothers flicks, and so there's not much I can say that adds anything new to the discussion. I think maybe half of them use the word "solid" in terms of the script, the acting, and the fighting, and I can't argue.
What I can say is that this movie is far better than it looks on the printed page. Any description is automatic cliche': Two strangers meet in the wasteland, one escaping his past and his enemies, the other with a motive that might put the two of them at odds. Or, call it the story of a killer pained by the evils he's done, and slowly realizing how far he must go to atone. Or...a criminal hunted by his former brothers in arms, each specializing in his own exotic weapon...you get the idea. It sounds like standard stuff. Somehow, Ti Lung, Fu Sheng and Ku Feng(his best performance? Even including "Uncle?), under the direction of Sun Chung, take a solid (there's that word) story and impart it with real human impact. Ti Lung's performance, in particular, is heartbreaking at times - he's been a cold-blooded killer most of his life, yet he's like a child as he discovers morality. He's almost an innocent. Watch his reaction when Fu Sheng chastises him for stealing his horse and food - it's something I missed my first viewing, the almost wondering look on his face as he thinks "yes...that WAS wrong..."
And the fights, which are probably why you're looking at this in the first place, are great stuff. There's plenty of action as the hero, Chik Ming Sing, tries to stay ahead of ten of his former fellows, and fights for his life. He's no Gordon Liu or Lau Kar Leung with the three-sectioned staff, but again, great stuff. Far too often, a kung-fu flick's best fight isn't the final one, but Fu Sheng and Ti Lung go for broke in the intense final battle to push it one step beyond a terrific fight at a deserted inn at the end of the film's second act.
Then there's the ending. It hits hits you like a haymaker.
In short, this is a movie that completely rises above itself from start to finish, and takes you by surprise. Even if you're not into the whole HK cinema thing, it belongs in your DVD collection.