15 January 2012


 Today's weather - sunny
There was a 1992 movie "新龙门客栈" directed by Tsui Hark and starring Lin Ching Hsia, Maggie Cheung, Donnie Yen and so on. This 2011 version is also directed by the same famous director of wuxia movies.

Starring a new cast comprising Jet Li, Zhou Xun, Chen Kun, Mavis Fan, Gui Lun Mei, it tells a tale  set in the Ming Dynasty, where the corrupted East and West Chambers' imperial eunuchs and a group of self-righteous heroes pit against each other, culminating in the battle at the famous Dragon Gate Inn in the desert.

I have always love Zhou Xun and Chen Kun's movies and I was pleasantly surprised to find the latter playing dual roles - one as the cold, crafty and sinister chief eunuch of the East Chamber who was bent of exterminating the rebels and separately as a mischievous treasure hunter who ganged up with other hunters to attempt to steal the imperial treasure buried in a palace that would only be exposed once in every sixty years in the desert for just a matter of hours. However, the excellent acting by Maggie Cheung as the mistress of the Dragon Gate Inn was the best and most unforgettable portrayal thus far and could not be surpassed even by the talented Zhou Xun.

The movie started off well and showed the mark of Tsui Hark although there was a lot of CGI effects this time round compared to the earlier movies. It also reminded me initially of the other famous wuxia movie "东方不败" which I so loved. However, the last scene involving the battle in the eye of the sandstorm was a bit absurd to me. Nevertheless, it is still one of the better wuxia movies of late even though it is not the best.