This is coming out Tuesday
The Zhao family is killed by a psychotic minister and they have an orphaned son. A doctor sacrifices his own son to save this kid, and later becomes dead set on vengeance on the minister when the child grows up. We learn thru the backstory that the Zhao family has more power even more than the king. The minister TU’AN GU slaughters the whole family to get rid of the Zhao legacy and influence. As you can guess, the sole survivor of the Zhao family is an infant. The doctor, who delivered the child, takes the infant and hides him to live him and his wife. They raise the Zhao child as their own, while bidding his time for revenge the doctor and orphan becomes servants to the evil minister as the doctor plots his revenge. When the evil minister orders all the babies to be rounded up as hostages, is when the doctor’s own baby is killed. And the doctor is left to raise the Zhao infant and has this plan to make the infant the godson of Tuan Gu, so the day will come when he finds out what the minister did to his family and claim the throne as his own.
At two hours this film is quite the stretch, while the first hour of this film was really well told, and solid. I really enjoyed the tale of the betrayal between the minister and the Zhao clan. The sets they used in this film were Oscar worthy and really were breathtaking. The assassination plot conspiracy seemed like a very complicated mess though. The problem with the bulk of this film is that it tries too hard to over complicate simple things, almost like it stalling for time. The dialogue in this film is at times, just as confusing as some of the situations and moments in this film, that really needed to be more simple for the average movie fan like me, so we can digest without having to pause the film and think about what we just watched and what it means.
The key point to watching this film and becoming invested is the payoff to the revenge plot. The pace of this film is slow and at the hour and twenty mark of this film, you feel that this film is just stretching for material and the script was written on the fly to fill the empty spaces. This is one of those films I guess if you are Chinese and understand how things are in that society, you may appreciate this film more. I did not know until afterwards that China had a one-child policy. The deep meaning that this film tried to get in its message is how love can be used for revenge.
The first hour of this film was good, and the payoff in the end was worth going thru the film to see. The negative for me would be how slow the second act was till the finale. I really thought maybe if this film was maybe a half hour shorter it would have been so much more powerful and meaning. All in all, it may be worth a rental at best. This film could have been so much more, god what a missed opportunity.
7 out of 10