Monday, June 18, 2012

The Sorcerer And The White Snake (SIFF 2012) - Movie Review

"The Sorcerer and the White Snake" is a highly stylized, action packed adventure that relies heavily on martial arts action while telling a classic story of forbidden love. Jet Li, Shengyi Huang, and Raymond Lam star in this fantastic tale that was pulled from an ancient Chinese legend. 

Jet Li plays Abott Fahai, a sorcerer tasked with keeping his home land safe from a world full of evil demons that come in all manor of mystical forms. Along with his apprentice Neng Ren, the duo travel from village to village doing battle with vampires, goblins, and just about any other type of creature you can think of.

Raymond Lam plays the role of a peasant villager named Xu Xian who is an expert herbalist and an aspiring doctor. During a foraging trip in the hills, he catches the eye of the beautiful and appropriately named White Snake (Shengyi Huang) who just happens to be one of those evil demons I mentioned earlier. The pair meet, she flirts, wins him over, eternal love is born, and they go on to live their lives together even though Xu Xian has no idea that his woman is also a giant, evil snake.

Yeah, that makes for a slight complication and especially when Abbot Fahai and Neng Ren show up in Xu Xiang's village in search of demons to take down. This is where things really start to go crazy, although in a delightfully good way, with lots of high flying martial arts action and some really striking visuals. All of this is paired up with a lighthearted and whimsical style that is perfect for a movie like this.

Director Siu-Tung Ching packs his film with so many fun moments, you can't tear your eyes away from the screen for fear of missing out on something cool. The fight scenes and special effects get bigger and bigger as the movie goes on and the whole production carefully treads that fine line of going too far over the top without falling over it more than a couple times here and there.

Sure "The Sorcerer And The White Snake" has its flaws, but you're not looking for perfection from a movie like this. Expect plot holes galore mixed in with overly melodramatic moments where the cheese factor gets ramped up to full blast and the acting gets in to that special place these types of movies can be known for. Fans of Asian cinema, you know exactly what I'm talking about! All that being said, I had a lot of fun watching this movie and would definitely recommend it as long as you are well aware of what you are getting yourself in to.

Check out my other 2012 SIFF reviews HERE!

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