[Film Review] The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011)

English Title: The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
Original Title: Long men fei jia 龙门飞甲
Year: 2011
Country: China
Language: Mandarin
Genre: Action, Adventure
Director/Writer: Hark Tsui 徐克
William Hu 胡伟立
Li Hanjiang 黎翰江
Gu Xin 顾鑫
Cinematography:  Choi Sung-fai 蔡崇辉
Jet Li 李连杰
Zhou Xun 周迅
Chen Kun 陈坤
Kwei Lun-mei 桂纶镁
Li Yuchun 李宇春
Mavis Fan 范晓萱
Fan Siu-wong 樊少皇
Liu Chia-hui 刘家辉
Sheng Chien 盛鉴
Xue Jian 薛剑
Du Yiheng 杜奕衡
Dillon Wu 吴迪
Zhang Xinyu 张馨予
Sun Jiankui 孙建魁
Li Bingyuan 李炳渊
Rating: 3.3/10

Raymond Lee is credited as the director of one of my favourite Hong Kong Wuxia film NEW DRAGON GATE INN (1992), but the real puppeteer is the producer Hark Tsui, the godfather figure in the heyday of Hong Kong Kung Fu sensation during 80s and 90s. So nearly 20 years later, when he decided to make a sequel of the original film, with a pristine cast (top-billed by Jet Li, Zhou Xun, Chen Kun and an assemblage of domestic celebrities from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), my expectation was quite high (as I rarely watch any Chinese films now), also Tsui’s previous detective-action big-budgeted vehicle DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME (2010) has somewhat rescued him from his career ennui since the millennium, so god forgives me if I hadn’t prepared for the worst, and this film is an utter disaster.

The storyline has never been at least fluent enough to let the audience know what is happening and the reactions ignited by various plots are beyond any possible interrelations, so at most 45 minutes later, I cannot care less about the story and I believe I am not the only one.

The cast is quite awful, Jet Li is too old to resurrect Tony Leung Ka Fai’s original role and Li is literally only 5 years younger, so basically it’s just a strategy for the sake of the action part, and every earth man knows Li is not a talented actor besides his Chinese Kung Fu. So as gifted as Zhou Xun, their emotional interaction is for naught. The only saving grace if one must pick is Chen Kun, who has two different roles (including the unexplained doppelgänger in the dramatis personae), at least leaves some vague impression in the shattered hotchpotch of direly fake CGI effects in the desert, a treasure-hunting chicanery and many other ridiculous and incoherent twists.

Gosh, I have already dwindled my quota of Chinese films each year to the maximum of 5, and this megalomaniac film could have successfully grabbed tons of money in the box office during the Spring Festival season does baffle me so much, is the market really so parched that poor audience would simply take anything would quench their thirst no matter how illogically laughable the quality. I feel so worried and upset towards the future of Chinese film ground, the scale of cinemas is enlarging day by day but basically is where tasteless garbages consecutively reside.


2 thoughts on “[Film Review] The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011)

  1. Pingback: [Last Film I Saw] The Taking Of Tiger Mountain (2014) [7/10] | Cinema Omnivore

  2. Pingback: [Last Film I Saw] Let The Bullets Fly (2010) | Cinema Omnivore

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