This movie is an unapologetic Wuxia film; swordsmanship, kung-fu, and magic on very side. It doesn't transcend the genera, but it is among the very best examples of it. Other reviewers have noted that there is some skimping on the character development, and that is true, but Wuxia is not a style that goes in for much character development beyond certain basic archetypes. Furthermore, as the Wikipedia entry on the film notes, the novels this film is based on have already been adapted to television several times, in Hong Kong, so the target audience already knows these people. We Westerners are just going to have to catch up.
If you are looking for historical accuracy, or realistic fighting, or shakespearean eloquence, then you have come to the wrong place. But if you are looking for top-flight fantasy fun, well shot, well acted, with thrilling fights and glorious special effects, then by no means pass this one up.