This film drops this side of the pond very soon. SO I was pumped.
This was suppose to be my NMOTM (ninja movie of the month), but dammit it there were no ninja, and stranger still, very little kung fu action, annnnnnndz stranger still I still liked it.
The plot revolves around two separate tales; 1. Jet Li's monk who hunts and traps demons that injure humans. Which to him is all demons, and 2. A shy herbalist that garners the interest of a white snake demon, who falls for him. So those two stories go until Jet Li finds out about the demon wife of the herbalists and decides to tell her to F off. Or else. So form there, things could have gone a very different way but Jet Li is a dick and stuck in his ways and eventually he attacks her putting in motion all kinds of crazy special effects show downs...
This, to me, felt like a big turning point in asian cinema. This is the moment that their big budgeted epics got it right. From top to bottom. The story is engaging, the acting is top notch, and the writing is good. Yes the normal elements are there; star crossed lovers, tragicness, comedy side kick... but they are presented with an easily enjoyable humour. Which is a rarity in a lot of asian films, and usually rarer still in there big budget efforts.
I was really caught off guard by this film as it was presented as a big kung fu flick, but really its more the action/adventure type. Also, Jet Li's character is a dick. Which is a little unexpected. He is all business. Doesn't care about demon love, or at one point the fact that the demon and her man just saved a city... You dick Jet Li. But I love you anyway.
I want to take a moment to clearly state - Yes the special effects are still a ways behind the North American offerings, that I doubt will change anytime soon. But you just have to accept that the effects are maybe one, two levels, above SyFy channel offerings. Still, the effects, and battles are very creative and fun to watch.
|Shut up you're the cutest snake girl- No you are- No you are...|
The battles are just... crazy level over the top, which is where the film is more the adventure piece, than the kung fu piece. Picture a monk throwing energy balls while a demon counters with shields, and energy waves of there own, and you have an idea of what to expect from the action. But I didn't care, I was having a blast with the film. Asian film has always been a source for originality, though in recent years the american influence has dampened that somewhat. This was a big step forward. To have a demon monk showdown one minute moving buildings, and destroying parts of the city, and the next a conversation with a talking forest creature that is concerned for snake demon, and it all works.
This is big: THIS FILM IS ALMOST COMPLETELY DEVOID OF WTF moments. Yup, thats right an asian film that is coherent and stays on track. Crazyness.
The battle at the end of this film will not be for everyone, hell, this film, if you have never voyaged into asian cinema, will not be for everyone. But if you have a fondness for a little off the beaten path entertainment, and giant anime like showdowns, this is right up your alley. If you just wanna see Jet Li beat people up, again, no so much for you.
For those of you that haven't really explored asian film before, you know, this might actually be a good point to jump on. And hate subtitles? The dubbing is actually very well done. No british sounding asians here! :)
Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Action/Adventure scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
There is suppose to be a sequel on the way, and I will tell you it had better come soon because this film ends on a big... "No it can't seriously end like that" note. Also, this film looks gorgeous in the HD. For all you Bluray fiends out dere.
C. Boonsweet saying - Snake woman, I'd hit that