Bai she chuan shuo (The Sorcerer and the White Snake)


Bai she chuan shuo (The Sorcerer and the White Snake) (2013)



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Movie Info

Action director Ching Siu-Tung helms this fantasy film based on an old Chinese legend about an herbalist who falls in love with a thousand-year-old White Snake disguised as a woman. Jet Li stars as a sorcerer who discovers her true identity and battles to save the man's soul. (c) Magnolia

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Jet Li
as Fa Hai
Eva Huang
as White Snake
Charlene Choi
as Green Snake
Vivian Hsu
as Ice Harpy
Zhang Wen
as Neng Ren

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Critic Reviews for Bai she chuan shuo (The Sorcerer and the White Snake)

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

These showdowns feature spectacular, Lord of the Rings-style CGI settings, but not much in the way of thrills or terror.

Feb 7, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The clunky action mostly revolves around uninspired wire-fu choreography: Monks fly around while flailing their arms as hordes of CGI creatures gather around and then do nothing.

Feb 6, 2013 | Full Review…

A silly, derivative supernatural-action extravaganza that would have been better at a fraction of its f/x budget.

Feb 4, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Fantastic visuals and non-stop action make for a spectacular, romantic Chinese CGI feast.

Oct 12, 2012 | Full Review…

Beautiful martial arts fantasy with scary imagery, violence.

Aug 12, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The Sorcerer and the White Snake is unfortunately just another average Jet Li film to throw into the pile. Its bloated and overloaded use of mediocre special effects practically shackles the film to its humdrum atmosphere.

Apr 10, 2013 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bai she chuan shuo (The Sorcerer and the White Snake)

It's not just Hollywood that's looking at fabled legends to adapt from, or to remake/reboot films from the past. Cinema in the Chinese territories are doing so as well, revisiting material that will probably benefit in having CG effects to spruce up storytelling. Tony Ching Siu-Tung directs this update of a film that chronicles the romance of a White Snake spirit and a mortal man, which of course is forbidden by lore, and a monk who goes between them. A battle between Fahai and Neng Ren against the bat-demon on Mid-Autumn night is an excellent case-in-point- ditto for the extended climax between Fahai and the White Snake set in the middle of the ocean. Admittedly however, none of the action sequences are particularly memorable - mostly because Jet Li only gets to spar against either a green screen or against 'green' martial arts actors like Eva Huang and Charlene Choi. But in spite of these shortcomings, this remains a richly entertaining brew of fantasy, romance and CGI - the supernatural world is vividly realised, the romance is surprisingly affecting and the CGI is also commendable by the standards of Chinese cinema.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


Although certainly patchy in places, the visuals of this film kept me absolutely entranced. Based on a Chinese folktale that sees a mortal man fall in love with a snake demon. Jet Li plays the man who must come between them and capture the demon. I liked the idea of having the protagonist being the person that has to split up the loving couple. It gave us a better look at someone who would usually be a villain. The action scenes were full of colour and were beaitifully shot. Many would complain about the CGI but I was so taken in with the relationships of certain characters that I couldn't possibly complain. Seeing Jet Li bounce around the ocean as giant snakes leap at him was a great site to behold. The film also had some rather moving musical pieces. The character designs were a lot of fun and at times it felt like a mixture between classic martial arts movies, a fantasy, and a Disney film, especially when the talking animals arrived. No, it certainly isn't for everyone, but when compared with cheesy B movies, this was entertaining, visually interesting, and a lot of fun.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer


Tony Ching goes for heavy duty fantasy and romance with The Sorcerer and the White Snake.

Story-wise, the film never drags, but at times it is cumbersome and even a little jumbled. The explanations, especially for the fantasy pieces, have only enough explanation to get by and that's all there pretty much is to it. The rest all relies on the story of love between a demon and a human.

It's hard to classify this as an action adventure, even though it does have its share of action. Martial arts this is not because nearly all of the encounters are laced with CG effects, which are so-so at best. The film's final act relies heavily on the CG and this is a downgrade when it comes to Jet Li.

Jet Li is the biggest name and he does have a prominent and integral role; however, acting-wise, this picture belongs to Eva Huang. While likable to view, her character tends to be unlikable with the way the story pans out.

The Sorcerer and the White Snake is what it is and this 95 minute tale has its audience.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer


I saw this movie yesterday in Suzhou cinema under the name It's Love and I have to say reading some of the reviews that I am sick of people who give negative reviews because they do not understand something! I'll suggest to them to start working on themselves and their improvement and education about different cultures instead of slamming the hard working artist who give everything they had in a movie adaptation of an ancient Chinese legend... Movie had a success in Venice festival and I know why... it is amazing work of art! I found some unacceptable changes in the legend, like adding characters and changing the initial reason for the demon and human falling in love, but the film was so well made that I could not give anything less than 90%! I know the pagoda where all this "happened" is situated; couple of hours from where I live and for me is much more realistic than for most other viewers of this last work of the director Chan Xiaodong (Ching Siu-tung). Jet Li as Abbott Fahai (法海) (not the "sorcerer"), Eva Huang as White Snake/Susu (白娘子), Raymond Lam as Xu Xian (許仙), Charlene Choi as Green Snake (小青) and Wen Zhang as Neng Ren (能忍) were perfect choice for the roles. Wen Zhang was invited by Li to play his disciple Neng Ren and he was a real acting revelation for me! Regarding the action scenes, Jet Li said he had never been this exhausted before. And there is a lot of action in this love story! After fighting the White Snake, Li fights the Green Snake... after fighting the Green Snake, he fights the Demon... after fighting this Demon, he fights another Demon... after fighting this Demon, he goes to fight the Water Monster... The official English name It's Love was changed to The Sorcerer and the White Snake by the distributor... I do not know why... it is a love story after all! If you like films in which the visuals are dominant go and enjoy this fantasy realm where the director has pulled out all stops to impress!

Panta Oz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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