In this movie on the younger Detective Dee directed by the famous Tsui Hark, the stars appear to be a slew of young male actors, instead of the female actresses. The three male leads Mark Zhao (赵又廷) from Taiwan as Detective Dee, Feng Shaofeng (冯绍峰) and Lin Genxing (林更新, better known as the fourteenth prince in the China TV production "步步惊心") from China helmed the movie together with the pan-asian looking Yang Ying (杨颖, better known as Angelababy) from China, Carina Lau (刘嘉玲) from Hong Kong and Kim Bum (金汎) from Korea.
I read in the chinese newspapers recently that Tsui Hark made a joke that the pay that Andy Lau commands is more than the pay of the three male leads added together and is enough to create the special effects of the sea dragon. It was notable that amongst the thespians, Carina Lau continued to enjoy the meaty role of playing the Empress Wu Zetian after acting the same role in the earlier movie. Never mind her humongous and outrageous headdress or crown, she still commanded a lot of respect and attention as a serious and formidable force to be reckoned with.
The young Detective Dee first arrived in the Imperial Capital of Luoyang and soon found himself embroiled in a plot that involved extermination of the entire imperial family and officials. I will not give the story away but I definitely enjoyed the movie for its great martial arts action sequences and special effects. The cast was great and there was a lot of eye candy in the form of the actors themselves.
As I was watching the movie, I was thankful that such movies still exist today. In the light of modern technology and the space age, there are a lot of movies out there on aliens, superheroes etc and only China, Hong Kong and Taiwan make such period dramas. I wonder if a decade or two later, would we still be able to see such movies anymore? I certainly hope so because I have always been a fan of such and hope I don't have to wait too long to see the next sequel.
|Mark Chao, Feng Shaofeng and Lin Genxing|
|Feng Shaofeng, unknown cast, Mark Chao and Lin Genxing|
|Mark Chao and Lin Genxing|
|Angelababy and Mark Chao|
|Angelababy and Kim Bum|