Friday, February 19, 2021

A Writer's Odyssey / 刺杀小说家 - Movie Review

The Movie: A Writer's Odyssey / 刺杀小说家

The Director: Lu Yang

The Cast: Yang Mi, Tong Liya, Dong Zijian, Jiayin Lei, Hewei Yu

The Story: Six years after the abduction of his daughter, a man is hired to kill the author of a fantasy novel, but the world of the novel seems to intersect with reality.

The Review:
I love the fact that Chinese filmmakers are willing to make these type of over the top blockbuster action movies that are even more insane than anything US studios are putting out for domestic release. I can't imagine this story ever getting past the pitch stage with Hollywood executives just because there is so much going on in this movie. I mean, how do you put it in a genre? There's fantasy, thriller, martial arts, and science fiction all happening here and the scale, the story plays out in two concurrent realities is pretty epic.

All that being said, I do feel like having so much going on was fun but it didn't really lead to as satisfying of a payoff as I was hoping for. The big finale turns into what looks and feels like a video game boss battle and the bad guy looks too cartoonish to fit into the tone and style of everything else that happens over the course of the movie. The highlight for me is a giant battle sequence that looks and sounds amazing and has some really cool and innovative ideas, my favorite being these beautiful looking hot air balloon dragons. There are so many jaw dropping and fun moments during this battle as well as other scenes in the movie although this is what made that ending stick out like a sore thumb. I was like, did they run out of budget or something?

Overall, I will say this is a fun movie to watch and I wish I could have watched it in a theater. As of this movie's release, there are theaters open although I will not advocate either way whether or not that's something you should do. I'll leave that for you to decide. Either way, this is the type of spectacle event movie that you watch with a wheelbarrow full of popcorn and a bathtub sized container of soda. Definitely worth a look if you enjoy these big, bloated blockbuster style movies.

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