Warriors From the Magic Mountain (Zu Mountain: New Legend of the Zu Mountain Swordsmen) (Xin shu shan jian ke) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Warriors From the Magic Mountain (Zu Mountain: New Legend of the Zu Mountain Swordsmen) (Xin shu shan jian ke) Reviews

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July 18, 2013
Excellent Martial Arts Fantasy That Moves At Such A High Speed With Visual Delights, Great Humour & Martial Arts Action There's No Time To Fuss Over It's Flaws. The Visual Effects Make Up For It's Lack Of Story. The Film Focuses On A Soldier Who Gets Caught Up With The Zu Warriors & Their Battle To Save Earth, This Paved The Way In Technological Advancement In Asian Film Production & One Not To Be Missed, Especially If Your A Fan Of Asian Cinema.
November 25, 2012
Occasionally juxtaposed to "Star Wars" (1977) these kindred spirits of camp art share not only thematic elements, some of the same technical wizards, and a shared nostalgia between contemporary critics and audiences alike but also some of the same weaknesses.

Co-written by Szeto Cheuk-hon, who collaborated on screenplays for three of director Tsui Hark's previous films, "Zu: The Warriors from the Magic Mountain" is likable based on the strength of its merits in sight and sound, but storytelling isn't one of the film's virtues. Like "Star Wars" this flying swordsman fantasy rarely ever stops to the point it's difficult to recall a moment where the narrative succeeds in pacifying Tsui's funhouse approach to filmmaking.

This is no more evident than when the aforementioned warriors from the magic mountain arrive at a cryptic queen's fortress in the clouds and spend the next twelve minutes soaring through the air jousting with rays of energy from their palms in an attempt to appeal to the speechless ruler for her help. Once you look past all the smoke and mirrors its obvious why this sequence was tailored in this fashion: "Zu" would have viewed a grounded dialogue-driven exchange as some kind of
cardinal sin for this brand of ADHD storytelling even though this is what the film really needs -- breaks.

The atmosphere created by Tsui's marvelously colorful vision and recreated through Bill Wong's moody photography is accompanied by Gwan Sing-yau and Tang Siu-lam's pragmatic score and accented by the tutelage of conscripted Western technicians whose collective resume includes not only the special effects for George Lucas's 1977 science-fiction phenomenon (supposedly Tsui's original inspiration) but "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," "Tron," "Battlestar Galactica," and "Bladerunner" as well. Though Tsui was given an unprecedented HK $30 million budget by Golden Harvest Studios to turn his dream into a reality the special effects -- presumably where the lion's share of the money went -- have a cost-cutting charm that still has yet to wear off.
November 17, 2012
Sounds great, but was really boring.
½ July 29, 2012
An out-and-out crowd-pleaser, with campy costumes and highly imaginative battle scenes and villains. The ending is a little flat but until then it's a rollicking ride.
April 22, 2012
Just like I said about Rainbow War, this movie is pure art. I enjoyed watching this ever since I first saw this 7 years ago. There's so many great scenes, and I love the colorful costumes. My favorite part is the battle scene between the green yellow and orange people. This is truly one of the greatest martial arts movies ever.
January 9, 2012
This is my favourite movie of all time. This film has it all, magic, adventure and heroes. This film is full of visually stunning special effects, lovable characters, a world full of imagination, a truly classic story to go with it and a larger than life cast. Yes, films do not get any better than this. The story is about a soldier called Ti Ming-chi, who wants to end all war, so he seeks to become the apprentice of a mysterious swordsman called Ting Ying. We also meet more heroes and other strange characters on the road. All of a sudden, demons from the nether realm see their chance to take over the mortal world. However, the most notorious of all demons, the blood demon is about to be resurrected and can be destroyed, but only by two swords when united. The heroes of the film seek these swords, but many obstacles wait. In the on-going battle between good and evil, there are epic battles with magic and warriors that fly though the air. This film influenced classics such as Big Trouble in Little China and other films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but this remains the definitive fantasy film, that everyone must own.
½ December 25, 2011
I quite like it, then.
November 25, 2011
One of the most wonderful show is 1983.
½ November 11, 2011
A unique mix of science fiction, fantasy, and martial arts. Starring Brigitte Lin, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao, it is about the ultimate battle of good vs evil in a world full of demons, righteous monks, and warring states.

A young Soldier (Yuen Biao) finds himself in a world of demons and monks. He teams up with a powerful swordsman and a monk duo, and they have to find two magical swords in 49 days before the Blood Demon can wreak havoc on the world.

The visual effects are hypnotic and trippy, even looking kind of cool even though very dated. The plot is a little on the boorish side but the spectacle and fantasy are the likes of something you've never seen. Definitely a visual masterpiece.
½ August 27, 2011
This is a film that was the border of the old era in Hong Kong and the beginning of the new. The plot of a bunch of warriors taking on a great evil had been done before but there was something about the way it was done here that made everyone sit up and take notice.

Personally I'm underwhelmed by this movie. The special effects are dated and the plot is somewhat confusing. I had wanted to see this for a long time and I was expecting something epic but truthfully by the time I actually saw this I was so hyped up that there was no way it could ever live up to what I was expecting.

If you like martial arts movies, or even action fantasies, try this, its not bad, its just not the be all and end all I know some people claim it is.
WrenchLT
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2011
Martial arts fantasy adventure from Hong Kong director Tsui Hark. Quite ground-breaking and influencial back in its day and was the inspiration for John Carpenter's "Big Trouble in Little China". This film really wasn't my cup of tea though. The special effects are quite dated badly and the wires used to elevate the characters during the action are visibly distracting. The art design and sets are quite striking though. The film has a very fast pace and it was a real challenge keeping up with the action and reading the subtitles at the same time, something I don't usually struggle with. At the end of it all it was too tame and fantastical for my taste.
May 11, 2011
Hilarious and ridiculous fantasy martial arts flick. Great special effects for the time, it has influenced countless imitators, and doesn't take itself too seriously at all. If you want a little more humor injected into your fight/fantasy movies, this one rocks.
½ April 17, 2011
Magical action on drugs! Zu, unlike the 2001 retake, is funny, different from everything else around and, even if so frantic it shal give you vertigo, fascinating. Full of humour and Chinese beauties, it's ideal for: fantasy fans, wuxia addicts, Carpenter groupies and psychedelic mushroom depleted hippies.
March 23, 2011
I seem to enjoy it more the second time. Tsui directs one of his earlier pieces of martial arts with Hung and Biao. Lots of Chinese humour with great martial arts. In terms of story it's really ordinary.
½ November 18, 2010
What the fuck was this movie? Excellent special effects, but the story just isn't there, and that leaves the viewer confused about the events. The opening promises a better film then what Tsui Hark delivers, and while I don't expect everything to be comprehensible, this one had me lost as soon as he entered the magic mountain.
½ July 5, 2010
Loved it, loved the special effects, the simplicity, the love story wasn't over done, the comedy was funny but not obnoxious. A very good adventure film, casual and enjoyable. Will stay fond in my memories for some time.
May 17, 2010
I watched a new version, I liked it, usually old asian movies are better, so i wanna see this one
½ February 18, 2010
(*** 1/2): Thumbs Up

A very entertaining and funny movie. Well-acted and directed.
February 18, 2010
Pacey, stylish and innovative but loses its way about half way through.
½ December 16, 2009
Incredible set designs, and some impressive special effects, wire work, and martial arts mayhem that looks as if every anime ever made took notes from or stole pieces of wholesale. This was a main influence on Carpenter's "Big Trouble In Little China", and it's constantly flying characters, recall BTILC's final battle scene, but spread out over an hour and a half. The plot involves a man holding a demon in place with a mirror and his beard, and sending a man who fell into a hole in a mountain to find two magical swords which represent heaven and earth, and are all that stand in the way between the demon destroying the earth, and evil triumphing over good. Plot is standard g vs. e but executed with utterly unique sensibilities that make it impossible to look away from, even if you don't always understand what's going on. Could have used more Sammo Hung (who is only present in the first 15 minutes), and a little less special effects, at the end it goes into psychedelic freakout mode, with laser sword fighting wile flying after the sky turns into a lava lamp. I half expected Flash Gordon to appear.

This was one of the biggest budget HK films ever made. And like many films in a similar economic level, this one is more sfx and action than plot, characters, or coherence. Moments of it are glorious though. If you like epic fantasy, and martial arts this is absolutely not to be missed. Everyone else stay far away.
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