From the very first scene, this movie exceeded all my expectations. The director was the choreographer for Bourne Identity (2002) as well as several other action movies, and he really outdid himself here. The fights are stunning, incredibly fast paced but coherent. The main attraction is sword fights, but there's a healthy dosage of 1-0-1 combat here and if you enjoy fights from movies such as the Bourne series I can only say you're in for a real treat. There are a lot of innovations too, for instance several shots in the fight sequences are used to make you feel like you're in the fight. It absolutely works and I can't stop watching it over and over again.
It's not all dumb action though, the director brings some much needed freshness to filmmaking in the camera work. While the fights are fast, brutal and visceral, the shots of dialogue and more calm scenes are wider and steadier. The audience also gets to see some shots from unexpected places like very close to the surface of the water or the inside of a bowl, which are nicely integrated with the rest of the footage providing an immersive experience. They don't look like Go Pro video at all like in a lot of other movies (if it is then it's very well treated in post production).
The movie was mostly shot in China, and it yields beautiful landscapes. We can also see from the viewpoint of the characters eyes at points, something I found to really contribute to the storytelling and used to great effect as you'll see in the movie. The story is really good and has some nice depth to it. The chemistry really works between the cast. Nicolas Cage does a decent job, though his character here doesn't demand much, and Andy On is really good as the films villain. Bill Su Jiahang is terrific as young prince Zhao and the chemistry between the main characters really works. The real highlight here though is Hayden Christensen as Jacob and Yifei Liu as Lian. Hayden is just amazing and really sells his part, while Yifei is just the cutest. They are really great together and there is a nice but reasonable dosage of humor in there too. I'll guarantee you'll be rooting badly for their characters. Combined with a good score is that is very well edited into the movie, this is a beautiful tale. I saw it with my whole family and they all loved it. Speaking for myself as a movie enthusiast, I can say this is a very well made picture.
Despite all this greatness however, the shooting style of the action sequences can be it's biggest downfall if the movie is not displayed properly. The fact is the vast majority of TVs around are not up to scratch to display this. I saw it on Blu Ray on an OLED TV, which has an instant response time and 24p playback. I'd say 24p playback is almost a requirement for this movie. Watching it on Netflix on an iPad made many action sequences get overwhelming and messy pretty quick, and I must say this is one of the titles I saw the most difference in video quality between Netflix and Blu Ray. Motion performance is one area where the quality of TVs has actually degraded in the transition from Plasma to LCD and OLED, manufacturers really have to get their act together.
It really saddens me to see internet bashers ripping this movie apart. Yes, it has flaws and I could nitpick them all day like some other reviewers have done here, but let's not mistake the forest for the tree. I don't think they're being fair, they love up terrible movies and completely skimp over their glaring and numerous flaws while making a huge effort to bash anything that doesn't adhere to their idea of a great movie. The fact is this is one of the few good movies that have been released in the last few years and I highly recommend watching this in the best quality you can.
Action / Adventure / History / Thriller
Action / Adventure / History / Thriller
When the heir of the Imperial throne becomes the target of an assassination by his despised older brother, the young prince must flee the kingdom and seek protection. His only hope for survival is a reluctant war-weary crusader named Jacob, who must overcome his own personal demons and rally the assistance of a mythical outlaw known as The White Ghost. Together they must fight side by side in an epic battle to return the prince to his rightful place on the throne.
Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 280,460 times
December 27, 2014 at 01:03 PM