Sunday, March 23, 2008

Three Men And A Little Lady

That should actually be the title of An Empress And The Warriors. There's the evil king's nephew who wishes to usurp the throne by killing everyone in his way, there's the loyal warrior who was the princess's childhood buddy, there's the mysterious forest dweller who teaches lessons about nature and its beauty, and there's the princess who has to grow up too soon.

Standard period drama stuff this. It could all work, though. It's got Donnie Yen, and you just know there's going to be some ass-kicking. The movie's directed by Tony Ching, so there's must be some hard action, right?

But by the first quarter, you know things are taking a dip downhill when Kelly Chen gets into tough-cookie mode, trying to emote as a hard-edged warrior princess but coming across more like a modern pop songstress attempting to look like a hard-edged warrior princess. Then when Leon Lai's Jungle Book character appears and spews some new age-sounding tree-hugger crap, you know that's the end of it all.

And for a Tony Ching-Donnie Yen movie, there's strangely very little ass-kicking. Whatever there is seems unexciting and bland. But there's much cheesy romance and a cloying love song to boot.

After long-haired, crawling ghosts in horror films with twists, the new trend is the period costume epic. There are lots more to come - Three Kingdoms and Red Cliff, most notably, and some smaller scale ones like The Painted Skin.

I just have nothing left to say.

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