17 February 2021 | pcummins-91996
An intriguing concept let down by its storyline and over reliance on CGI.
I managed to grab a viewing of this as the storyline seemed interesting that a writer could be able to influence the real world and potentially have links to the story world that was created.
There is much that can be commended, which is mostly the creativity and work that had gone into set design and costumes in the story world along with the soundtrack by Jed Kurzel, with clearly significant work done to make each area stand out. There are clear highlights of creativity that definitely show that what China is capable of producing is on par with USA.
Unfortunately, the entire movie is let down with its storyline, which apparently had 4 screenwriters. Interesting elements are brought up and then dropped or never adequately explained, characters seem fairly bland and one dimensional with occasional hints of depth that is not able to be fully explored. I would say this is from trying to fit two linked stories into one movie, which naturally limits screen time for both.
The inevitable final boss fight is the prevalent over-the-top CGI that Chinese movies appear to be going for nowadays; ultimately good looking but the over reliance of CGI and length means as an audience you become disconnected from what's going on in the real world.
Some attempts are made to link things through in the denouement of the film however at this point with so many open ended plot elements it is difficult to know where to go from there.
I think perhaps if more time was spent world building and exploring the writer's abilities and expanding on this in a second movie or a trilogy by reducing the scale of the plot for this initial instalment it would have worked better overall.