There is a good deal of mindlessly enjoyable fun to Black Mask. It falls into the masked superhero genre but quickly transforms into an all-out action film, a la the material usually associated with Chow Yun Fat and John Woo. The title superhero seems to have been modelled on Bruce Lees first success in English-speaking countries, the tv series The Green Hornet (1967). The plot is conducted with a bare minimalism that exists for the sole purpose of connecting action sequences. These are, as is usually the case with Hong Kong action films, frequently breath-taking the hero shooting down hordes of attackers while spinning in mid-air on a winch platform or allowing himself to be dragged behind a riderless motorcycle; martial arts combat hopping around gravestones or in mid-air around the outside of pylon; and a climax with the hero and villain taking one another on whipping about an electrical cable.
Jet Li gets some nifty comic-bookish poses in costume, although once the mask comes off he looks decidedly unhandsome and unheroic. Karen Mok is one of the irritatingly cute and screeching airhead female leads that seem to occupy Hong Kong films but Francoise Yip has breathtaking allure. This is a film that makes no pretensions to being anything other than it is a full tilt Hong Kong action film and as such succeeds quite enjoyably.
The films producer Tsui Hark later directed a bigger-budgeted sequel Black Mask 2: City of Masks (2002).
Director Bill Lee subsequently went on to direct numerous action, martial arts and crime films with the likes of A Fighters Blues (2000), Star Runner (2003), Dragon Squad (2005), Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon (2008), 14 Blades (2010), White Vengeance (2011), Dragon Blade (2015) and Time Raiders (2016).