The Promise (Master of Crimson Armor) (Wu ji) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Promise (Master of Crimson Armor) (Wu ji) Reviews

Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
May 25, 2006
Has been criticized by some reviewers for its low-tech special effects. Curiously, I found this technical transparency part of the film's enormous charm.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
May 5, 2006
Chen Kaige clearly intended this Chinese fantasy-action spectacle to top Zhang Yimou's Hero, and I must admit that I prefer it to the earlier movie.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
May 5, 2006
The Promise is too full of frenetic disconnection and arbitrary comings and goings to connect meaningfully with the hearts and minds of its audience.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
May 5, 2006
With The Promise Chen Kaige has proven enough of a professional that he can make the product. But he remains too much of an artist not to scribble on his signature.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 5, 2006
Chen's strength seems to be more with character-driven stories; here's hoping that his next film returns to more comfortable ground.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
May 5, 2006
Laden with a plot that could generously be called silly or, less forgivingly, stupid, it never achieves lift-off despite numerous scenes of warriors doing battle in midair.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 5, 2006
Simply in terms of its visual poetry, the exhilarating effects of image upon image of dazzling impossibility, The Promise is not to be missed.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 5, 2006
[The film elicits] the wide-eyed joy of seeing hundreds of soldiers ride through sets of colossal extravagance. And the sweet release of, briefly, suspending all holds on reality or even logic -- and surrendering to the joys of a fairy tale.
| Original Score: 3/4
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
May 5, 2006
The Promise employs laughable computer effects and second-rate martial-arts fighting to tell the hard-to-figure story of a princess and her three lovers.
| Original Score: 0.5/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
May 5, 2006
As is evident by the film's strong start and faltering finale, the trouble with any promise is failing to keep it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 5, 2006
In the midst of such unrelenting splendour, it's easy to nod gratefully -- and then to nod off.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 5, 2006
Much of The Promise resembles a Cirque du Soleil extravaganza, which makes it tough to take seriously.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
May 5, 2006
The Promise is one of those movies in which the individual sequences seem to surpass the overall achievement.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 5, 2006
Oddly, The Promise -- which takes place hundreds, even thousands, of years ago, when art directors ruled the earth -- is flagrantly otherworldly but in a way that somehow weighs the picture down.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 5, 2006
It suggests that talented Chinese directors are being led astray by the seductions of CGI and wirework fantasies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 5, 2006
A mess of a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
May 4, 2006
Fans of newer Asian martial-arts movies will be satisfied with The Promise, especially because it contains the aerial wirework and swordplay expected of such movies. But the film is not as accomplished as the work of Ang Lee or Yimou Zhang.
| Original Score: 3/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 4, 2006
A lavish spectacle somewhere between grand opera and cartoon about a love triangle involving a general, a slave and a cursed princess.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 4, 2006
The producers should have allocated part of their huge budget for a couple of script polishes.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
May 4, 2006
A princess with a curse, a case of mistaken identity and some of the worst special effects in a film by a world-class director.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 4, 2006
The over-the-top acting is forgivable, but the plot's incoherence is not.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
May 4, 2006
The Promise naturally expresses its mythic qualities through stunning visuals, breathtaking costuming, and a great deal of action, and it adds in Kaige's Ridley Scott-like fondness for vistas full of floating, drifting objects, from feathers to flo
| Original Score: A
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 3, 2006
I can't imagine Road Runner was what Chen had in mind for the most expensive movie ever made in China...
| Original Score: C
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
May 2, 2006
You can't help wondering how the same Fifth Gen filmmaker who made Yellow Earth and Life on a String could've fallen on such hard times, or justified such goofiness to himself.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 2, 2006
A heady blend of swordplay, somersaults, fairy-tale romance, and computer-generated whoosh.
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
January 5, 2006
It's a knockout that works on many levels.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
January 3, 2006
Poor CG effects reduce Chen Kaige's martial fantasy to cartoonishness.
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Robert Koehler
Variety
January 3, 2006
Even in fantasy, an internal logic must apply.
Top Critic
F.X. Feeney
L.A. Weekly
January 3, 2006
The story it tells, measured strictly in terms of emotional power and overall fun, is as moving and pleasurable as any matinee item by Ford, Hawks or Raoul Walsh.