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Ye yan (Legend of the Black Scorpion) (The Banquet) (2006)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 6,713

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Movie Info

A World Without Thieves director Feng Xiaogang shifts his focus from modern-day con artists to tenth century intrigue with this tale of internal turmoil in the age of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms starring Zhang Ziyi, Daniel Wu, and Ge You. Her empire on the verge of a massive revolution as storms begin to brew both within the royal court as well as in the outlying kingdoms, the entrancing Empress Wan (Zhang) gazes upon her stepson, Prince Wu Luan (Wu), with the eyes of a forbidden lover


Drama, Action & Adventure

Feb 26, 2008

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Latest News on Ye yan (Legend of the Black Scorpion) (The Banquet)

September 25, 2006:
Toronto Wrapup: Senh, Jen And Tim's Raves And Rants From The Festival
We saw some great movies, some of them big ("Babel") and some tiny ("The Patterns...
September 13, 2006:
TORONTO: Zhang Ziyi, Yuen Woo-Ping's Latest "Banquet" Not Very Fulfilling
Zhang Ziyi and action director Yuen Woo-Ping last worked together in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden...


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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (6) | DVD (8)

This dazzlingly designed, mega-budget, period costumer offers further proof of Feng's increasing versatility, expansive vision and bravura technique.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...mesmerizing but often empty...

September 13, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Visually opulent but stately and stygian.

September 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A production that's both amazing to look at and hard to enjoy, The Banquet contains plenty of visual pleasures, but ties its gloomy story in too many knots to be truly entertaining.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Equivalent to attending a massive feast only to discover the main course is missing, The Banquet is frequently stunning, beautifully shot, but ultimately undernourishing.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

For all its visual splendour, The Banquet has none of the pathos or originality of Crouching Tiger, nor does it endear us to its characters through its 140 minute running time

November 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

This may be one of the year's better films, and some of the rawest Shakespeare you'll ever see.

October 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A beautiful, if incomprehensible and interminable film with fest-fav Zhang Zi-Yi.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Audience Reviews for Ye yan (Legend of the Black Scorpion) (The Banquet)

The crown prince of a 10th century Chinese kingdom is summoned back to court when his father is assassinated and usurped by his uncle. Yet another Crouching Tiger wannabe starring the ubiquitous Zhang Ziyi, The Banquet is in fact a loose adaptation of Hamlet. I must admit to fearing the worst for the opening half of this film as it seemed to contain many of the same mistakes the very similar Curse Of The Golden Flower made in that it seemed to concentrate far more on overblown and superfluous set pieces and elaborate costumes than its plot and characters. Fortunately once the prince reaches the palace the story gets a kick start and the schemes and machinations of the various factions make for a much more interesting watch. It was nice to see Zhang Ziyi in a meatier role than the innocent porcelain doll she always seems to play and the supporting cast bring presence to their roles although it is often difficult to connect with any of them on an emotional level. It looks glorious, which is pretty much par for the course for this kind of thing and despite some pacing issues with the first half is a pretty decent stab at Oriental Shakespearian tragedy. Much better than the aforementioned Golden Flower, but obviously not in the same league as Kurosawa's forays into Bard territory.
November 10, 2010
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Xiaogang Feng creates a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare's Hamlet known as The Banquet.The story involves deceit, betrayal, and all the other good stuff in the royal court. It does have a play-like feel to it with a run time of 2 hours and 10 minutes and a pace that is quite slow. Yes, the film does drag at times, however the cinematography, costuming, settings, and acting save this film from total boredom. Besides, the final 30 minutes, which is the banquet scene, is highly intriguing. Hence, The Banquet.The action is minimal, and like mostly everything else in this film, very dramatic. Most of the shots are in slow motion and the orchestra type music tones down the bloody encounters. One of the sequences is more of a dance than a fight too. The martial arts choreography is there and it is a shame that a good portion of it isn't seen in real time speed.The acting is good, albeit seemingly unemotional at times. Zhang Ziyi keeps the viewer at bay as she keeps switching sides with her actions. Daniel Wu, Zhou Xun, and Ge You round out the rest of the major cast.The Banquet is not the most entertaining of films, as it is mostly for people that enjoy theatrical arts. It is worth a check out if time allows.
June 11, 2009
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

Outstanding Movie, A Romeo & Jullet / Hamlet Story in Asian Theme, love the way people just float thur the air when fighting, much better then the ole school Kung Fu Movies (trash Can Lids). Rent or Buy you will not be sorry.
March 30, 2008
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

This movie is one hell of a masterpiece! Anyone who has a passion for theater arts would surely love this!
Note: Get a copy with proper subtitles!!
November 4, 2007
Ginny  X

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

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  • The Banquet (Ye yan) (UK)
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