Sunday, 29 March 2015

Zhong Kui: Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal Review

Zhong Kui is a young warrior who is trained and bestowed powers by a god for the purpose of fighting and killing demons. The powers he is granted turns himself into a large 'monster' like creature when he opens up a fan. Zhong Kui also awkwardly pulls out his spine when in this 'monster' form which he then uses as a sword. Zhong is then commanded by this god to take the dark crystal from hell which he does and hell wanting it back sends demon's in the form of beautiful women to reclaim it and thus begins a series of twist involving poorly established love angles, poorly staged action, embarrassing dialogue and acting combined with some stunningly bad editing.

So it should be abundantly clear that I did not enjoy the individual parts of this film or the film as a whole. One of the larger issues is how cheap everything looks, which in many films would be a minor issue. However given how much time is spent viewing these sub par effects and that it is clearly intended to be part of the draw and you have something that is not only exceedingly dull to watch, but cheap enough that one could be mistaken for assuming this was a made for tv syfy original. To be far the costumes whilst nothing special are passable and it does seem that the poor effects are more a result of the overly low budget for what the film was hoping to achieve. But none of this makes the results any more palatable. I will say that whilst for most of the film the 3d is wasted their are a handful of breathtaking shoots where the 3d is well utilized. However for most of the film you could easily forget you where viewing a 3d film and thus if you do decide to see this film, it is not worth paying the additional premium to view it in 3d. However fans looking to pick it up on blu-ray will likely be happier with the 3d release for a small additional cost for what would presumably be multiple more viewings.

The larger issue however is the acting and story. The story fells overly simply with the twists being as obvious as possible, yet set up and revealed as if they wher meant to shock. The dialogue is atrocious and the acting does this poor writing no help either. Frequently falling into what some may view as laughably bad territory, I however was simply bored by what was occurring. The editing only makes such issues more obvious and goes as far as to have two characters meet and then show you the scene after for why you should care about the characters in the previous scene meeting so that the previous scene can be effective. This obviously doesn't work in the films favour and simply has me confused as to how someone could edit a film together and feel that this was the most effective placement of scenes. Likewise large scale action set pieces start as quickly as they end and the film starts dragging early on yet refuses to give it the brisk pacing that a story as simple as this demands.

It is rare that I come across a film with as few redeeming features as Zhong Kui: Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal. With the exception of a passable but well trod concept and a handful of beautiful 3d shoots there is nothing I can say I enjoyed. With most of the film been a dull chore that makes even the most toxic of poorly made action films that spew out of Hollywood seem like relative masterpieces. My recommendation, stay very far away.

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