I am not really big on wuxia films but lately, I have been wanting to watch Asian films–in whatever form–in the cinema as opposed to watching on my laptop. I guess that’s also the effect of watching too many dramas online than I ever did.
So I did get to spend Saturday night watching Tsui Hark’s Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. It’s a 3D movie but the cinema in Bangkok that screens it with the Chinese soundtrack and English subtitles does not offer it on 3D. And that’s a pity because I have read reviews saying the 3D in this film was not pointless. I could just imagine how those sword/fight scenes looked like in 3D but oh well, c’est la vie.
The film is led by Jet Li. (I’m glad it’s not Donnie Yen. I guess some Hong Kongers’ distaste for him has been infectious.) But Chen Kun is the scene stealer with a double role as a Ming Dynasty official and a bumbling warrior. I was looking hard at the screen because there were some scenes, especially when he was playing the treasure hunter White Blade, that he looked like Ken Zhu. This character also provided the comic relief in the film.
But just like any Tsui Hark films, the female characters are prominent. The female casts were Zhou Xun, Gui Lun-mei, Li Yuchun and Mavis Pan (some may be curious to see the model who was in a scandal with Raymond Lam).
It was Gui Lun-mei who stood out among the female cast as a beguiling tribal princess (Tartars). Her look was different from anything you have seen her in: darkened skin tone, long braided hair, facial tattoos. During the first few minutes I saw her onscreen, I thought she looked familiar but I couldn’t identify her. I forgot she was in the cast and I thought they had cast a newbie actress.
This was part of her transformation process:
The CGI was not something you haven’t seen before but I wonder if that was because I was not watching it on 3D.
But 2D was still fun because of the sub-plots revealing that the characters who found themselves in the Dragon Inn just before a black sandstorm are not who they claim to be.
Review of The Hollywood Reporter here and Twitch here.
Tsui Hark and Jet Li hamming it up for GQ:
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9 thoughts on “movie: Flying Swords of Dragon Gate”
Why do I wish Gui Lun Mei was a lesbian instead? She’s so fierce.
or better… that she’s a guy lols
while I was watching Flying Swords, I developed a girl-crush over her hahaha!
you have to watch the movie to see what I mean. I was like… captivated lols
fierce characters suits her well. Does it have a world wide release? I mean it stars Jet Li so I’m hoping it does. But I’ll watch it for gui lun mei lol
yes. it’s supposed to have a world release but it would depend also on your domestic market. where are you based? I would think this film would be released in other parts of Asia like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand.
Currently here in the Philippines. I’m crossing my fingers that it will be released while I’m still here. I think there’s a bigger chance that this movie will be shown here than middle east countries hehe. Or I’ll just have to settle for stills. I thought Gui Lun Mei’s half bald look was for this movie, I guess not.
she’s doing another movie with, among others, Zheng Yuan Chang (Joe). it’s another ancient movie I think. I forgot the title.
I doubt it will be released in the Philippines, which is not big on Asian films unfortunately. but cross fingers!
Is it the one with jerry yan in it? I thought it was Ivy Chen.I’m so out of the loop. I’ma search about that, what a weird tandem. It’s kinda funny from Ariel-Joe/Bolin-Lun Mei now it’s the other way around.
yup, it’s the one with Jerry Yan. I don’t know exactly the plot or even if Gui Lun-mei will be paired with Joe. it looks to me like one of those big China productions with an all-star cast.
and whoops, you are right. it’s Ivy Chen, not Gui Lun-mei.
now I don’t know what her new hairstyle is for lols