I had no idea what this movie was about when I sat down to watch it on Netflix yesterday. I certainly had not watched its predecessor which, as I discovered afterwards, seems to have received quite high ratings.
To me this was a fairly decent movie quite adequate for a little Monday evening TV session. I would probably have been a wee bit disappointed if I had spent money and effort to see it in a movie theater though.
I did like the overall story and the cinematography. It did feel quite a bit like a old western in Asian setting. Make the sword a shipment of gold, the setting in the old west, add the hero and the gang of good guys with pistols instead of swords, do not forget the bad guy with his cronies and you have a good old fashioned Western. That is not really bad thing as far as I am concerned. The Asian setting and the Asian honor culture adds a lot of elegance to the movie.
The story is plain and simple with few surprises. As tradition dictates there is plenty of Asian martial arts going on. The fights are a little on the slow side and clearly intended for a rather low content rating. You never see anyone get really hurt. Sure people die but the deaths are quite bloodless. Personally I would have preferred a bit more hard hitting action. The fights almost became a bit comical at times.
I would say that the characters are okay. Not the best actors I have seen but I found them to be adequate. I did like the good guys. The bad guy could have done with a bit more charisma and the witch or whatever she was supposed to be felt underwhelming and underdeveloped.
One thing that annoyed me was this unrealistic flying around by some of the characters. Sure, it looked somewhat cool and very elegant but come on! Suddenly it appeared like the character became weightless and just floated through the air. Not very convincing.
On the whole I did enjoy the movie but, as I indicated above, it was not really a wow kind of movie. I have actually added the predecessor to my shopping list since that one got so good reviews. Speaking of reviews, on all the review sites I have looked this movie gets a rating of about 6 out of 10. Of course one site just had to stand out. Rotten Tomates! Their so called “critics” gave it a rotten rating with an abysmal score of 19%. What the f…? I know those self appointed “art” critics are too full of themselves to be taken seriously but that is a new low. Anyway, end of rant!