The Promise (Master of Crimson Armor) (Wu ji)2005
The Promise (Master of Crimson Armor) (Wu ji) (2005)
Critic Consensus: An incoherent plot and ridiculously obvious CGI effects doom this effort from the usually outstanding Chinese director Chen Kaige.
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Critic Reviews for The Promise (Master of Crimson Armor) (Wu ji)
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.
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.
The Promise is too full of frenetic disconnection and arbitrary comings and goings to connect meaningfully with the hearts and minds of its audience.
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.
Chen's strength seems to be more with character-driven stories; here's hoping that his next film returns to more comfortable ground.
Audience Reviews for The Promise (Master of Crimson Armor) (Wu ji)
A famous and well respected general and his faithful slave vie for the affections of a beautiful princess while battling the evil ruler of their land. Inevitably trying to ape the epic scale and poetry of the likes of Crouching Tiger or Hero, The Promise is actually just a dim-witted fairy tale populated with badly acted cartoon characters who spout inane fortune cookie platitudes at one another. Visually, the costume design is as attractive as you'd expect but there's also some very dodgy set design and an overuse of awful, cheap looking CGI. There is no narrative flow or even logic to the story and Kaige Chen is clearly just a hack Michael Bay wannabe, making this stir-fried turkey one of the worst examples of the Americanization of Asian cinema I've yet seen. Avoid.
In a world where people running as fast as the wind drag girls on leashes behind them like kites anything's possible. So no one should make the mistake and compare this to fantastic but somewhat historical movies like Hero. This is pure fantasy, even without made-up creatures. The plot of the cursed girl between three men isn't entirely new but the story remains rather unpredictable in all its craziness. It's not always entirely certain why the characters act the way they do, but each and every frame of this movie looks like a frikkin picture. Its picture should be in dictionaries under eye candy. The stunningly beautiful cinematography, sets, costumes and design combined with a pompous soundtrack make up for a lot of plot holes and create a larger than life experience of epic proportions. When the ugly guy in black is not the villain and the pretty bad guy still has the feather-like hairdo after taking his helmet off you realize you're in the middle of a real life manga. The result is so very entertaining, that all its flaws are easily ignored.
This film was pretty much terrible considering who directed it and its insanely high production budget. The effects were horrible and so was this movie.
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