Ye yan (Legend of the Black Scorpion) (The Banquet) Reviews
Note: Get a copy with proper subtitles!!
Brilliant fight scenes by the master Woo-ping Yuen. Fantastic photography, great set designs and a great cast with Ziyi Zhang (Empress Wan), Prince Wuluan (Daniel Wu) and Xun Zhou (Qing Nu) among others. Great score by Tan Dun. A powerful and bloody epic drama, Hamlet chinese style.
Then, it masquerades as a martial arts movie where the fighting is very much choreographed dancing. The excitement of the combat is dead because you are watching it for its grace and synchronicity than raw emotion. Even the angles they take to film the fights really sacrifice this for the movements than meaning of the battle.
What is good is that it has beautiful use of color and sets. And the wirework is great. And that's about it.