It’s not as epic as the title and synopsis make it out to be.
- Chen Kun as Zhong Kui
- Li Bing Bing as Xue Qing aka Snow Girl
- Zhao Wen Xuan as Zhang Dao Xian
- Yang Zi Shan as Zhong Lin
- Bao Bei Er as Du Ping
- Release date: February 19, 2015
- Running time: 118 minutes
- Language: Mandarin
Zhong Kui became a demon hunter after being cheated out of his position in court as a scholar. During this time, he meets the mysterious Snow Girl who turns out to be more than just a pretty face. Despite internal conflictions about what he should do, he cannot shake the feeling that this is the woman he will love forever. While continuing to fight demons, he also discovers that there is a different truth than what he has been taught these years and that the real demon has been living beside him for a long time coming. Guess who?
I didn’t go into this movie baiting with anticipation because I’m usually not a fan of supernatural stuff. There isn’t anything glaringly wrong with the film – the acting is ok, the plot line is sort of developed, the production is fine too – but maybe because all of these things met the bar that nothing really stood out. The CGI was a lot better than Lost Tomb so that speaks volume, but still it was nothing we haven’t seen before.
Perhaps a part of me just can’t get over how typical this story is. Good guy finds love in a girl who is a supposed enemy. Good guy battles who he thinks is the bad guy only to discover the truth behind it all. I mean it is as played as played can be and it just did not draw me in. There were also too many gimmicks, taking mythology to a whole new level with all the monsters and whatnot. Maybe I’m being overly critical but it just didn’t work for me.
What is worth noting is that Li Bing Bing’s character Snow Girl is actually kind of intriguing. I enjoyed her romance with Zhong Kui, but a part of me wished there was more development of their backstory. When we are introduced to them we already know there is some kind of history but this history is never really shared with us which made me feel frustrated and unresolved. On the other hand, Bao Bei Er’s turn as Du Ping brought a lot of comedic relief and I am sure he will make it even bigger in the entertainment industry given some time.
Though I’m not a fan, Zhong Kui is a popular character in Chinese myth so it is nice to see a twist on his life. If you enjoy American blockbusters about monsters and demons then you might like this. Otherwise, skip it.
This & That:
- Chen Kun has a thirteen year old son named Chen Zun Ruo, but no one knows who the mother is.
- Li Bing Bing moved to Hong Kong in 2014 in order to position herself for Hollywood. This plan has proven to be successful as she participated in Transformers 4: Age of Extinction that summer.
- Bao Bei Er broke out on scene by playing the Eunuch Li in Palace 3: The Lost Daughter. Despite being a national hit and the first series to broadcast in South Korea in 2014, it was sued for infringing on the storyline and characters of Mei Hua Nong, a short story by famous author Chiung Yao.