Movie Details
My Kingdom

My Kingdom

The Prince Regent of the crumbling Qing Dynasty orders the extermination of the entire Ming clan. The Ming leader vows revenge. Awaiting his death, a five-year-old Ming boy named Erkui bravely sings at the atria. Deeply moved, Master Yu rescues the boy and the two orphans, Yilong and Erkui, become brothers. Years later, Master Yu wins the coveted golden "Da Wu Sheng" ("The Mightiest Warrior") plaque from the Prince Regent but loses it in a duel with his archrival Master Yue Jiangtian. Banished upon his loss, Master Yu spends his time training the boys in Peking Opera and martial arts. They go to Shanghai to defeat Master Yue and reclaim not only the plaque but also become the new masters of his opera troupe. They became overnight sensations of the opera scene along with Master Yue's protege and ex-lover, beautiful actress Xi Mulan. However, their collective pasts catch up with them and all three end up in a complex web of love, lust, deceit and betrayal.

Language: Cantonese
Subtitle: Na
Classification: PG13
General Release Date: 08 Sep 2011
Genre: Action / Drama / Martial Arts / Romance
Running Time: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN SCREEN CINEMAS
Cast: Wu Chun, Barbie Hsu, Han Geng
Director: Gao Xiaosong
Format: NA



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Review
Writer: Tammy Ang

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 4.0 Out of 5
Cast: 5.0 Out of 5
Plot: 4.0 Out of 5
Effects: 4.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 5.0 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: "Ip Man", "Ip Man 2"

"My Kingdom" is a tightly woven story of Guan Yilong (Wu Chun) and Meng Erkui's (Han Geng), quest for fame, love and revenge, set in the 1920s Shanghai opera stage. The action choreography of this movie is lead by the legendary Sammo Hung, who comes fresh after winning a Golden Horse Award for his action choreography in "Ip Man 2".

Although it stars Wu Chun, Han Geng, and Barbie Hsu who are all the hottest Chinese idols from Taiwan and China, but the feel of the movie is not as commercial as "Butterfly Lover" or any other star-studded films. It has a more discrete way in its story-telling especially in showing the complicated relationships among the three characters. Take for example, the movie doesn't directly show scenes of Barbie Hsu's affections for Han Geng's character, but you can tell it somehow from her gestures and only facial expressions.

As a martial arts film, the movie is really well directed, kudos to Sammo Hung who had a big part in the action sequence. It is not the usual Hong Kong Kung Fu action that we're accustomed to, but a new glimpse as the actions combine both traditional martial arts with Peking opera movements. Especially the scene where the brothers, Yilong (played by Wu Chun) and Erkui (played by Han Geng) fight each other, which were really intense and jam-packed with action. The scene reportedly took more than 50 hours to shoot with endless practice and takes, to reach the perfection on the silver screen. Well, all their efforts paid off as the fighting scenes were really remarkable and stunning!

This is the first movie that Han Geng acted in, however he does not seem like a newbie at all. He played the character convincingly in expressing various emotions. Wu Chun also gives a new surprise to all his audience. This time around, he sheds away his usual 'idol' personality and morphs into an entirely different person when compared to his previous roles. He no longer wants to be seen as the perfect gentleman. His character is someone who has an affair with someone else's wife, and is completely arrogant.

Another interesting aspect of the movie is, Barbie Hsu, who is like a walking model in this whole movie. It seems like she had a different costume in almost every scene. However, each of the costumes was beautifully and uniquely designed, and will surely capture the attention of the female audience.

"My Kingdom" is a movie with an interesting blend of love story and Peking opera martial arts that successfully brings out the complex web of love, lust, deceit and betrayal. Probably a little too much of complexity, that it took a little while for the reviewer to figure out the relationships among the three characters after watching the movie.

Cinema Online, 20 September 2011
   

 
 
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