Ye yan (Legend of the Black Scorpion) (The Banquet) Reviews
Unfortunately the story and the plot don't quite manage to keep up. The film suffers from an inability to tell a coherent story and to keep its viewers engaged to the plot. Right from the first few scenes we are left wondering just what in the name of gods is going on and where this story is going. Of course some of these questions get eventually answered and knowing that this is based on Hamlet helps a lot, although it should be able to stand on its own merits when it comes to the latter. Naturally, some might argue that one should just pay attention and that some questions don't need answering, but the fact remains that sometimes a whole scene goes by and only later we learn just what happened, if we learn at all. The major example is the last scene, which to me feels completely useless and confusing, as the main conflict has already been resolved and thus the events of the ending scene just leaves us confused and a bit angry, because it means that we never resolve one of the biggest mysteries of the film, although naturally there are hints and nudges, but all of them are inconclusive. That's just bad storytelling if you ask me. Viewers are naturally curious and leaving us hanging like that serves no purpose.
Nevertheless, I can't say that I dislike this film. It's gorgeous to look at, the actors are talented and it's only the plot that keeps this movie from being all that good. But, sometimes the pretty exterior is all that one needs to spend a few hours, and for that purpose this movie is more than enough.