Wu Dang [Blu-ray]
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This is strictly a movie for martial-arts fans. There is plenty of well-staged action, a simple plot, and passable visual effects. In Mandarin, with English subtitles, the movie begins promisingly enough, but soon sinks under the weight of a weak script.
There is a making-of featurette on the Blu-ray release.
Tang Yunlong (Vincent Zhao) is a treasure-hunting archaeology professor and martial arts fighter trying to locate seven artifacts and one holy sword. Tang Yulong and his daughter Tang Ning (Xu Jiao, who was Stephen Chow's young "son" in "CJ7") travel to a monastery in Wudang Mountains, where a martial arts tournament is about to be held. But there are other warriors looking for the same treasure, including a beautiful female fighter Tianxin (Yang Mi).
The story, which is set in a fictional China in the 1910s, looks like a cross between "Indiana Jones" and "Dragon Ball." Directed by Patrick Leung, the adventure film starts pretty well, but loses its momentum when the competition gets under way. With one dimensional personalities and non-existent back-story of characters, the film does not know what story it is trying to tell.
With actors like Dennis To as the tournament's organizer and Louis Fan as a young monk, as well as Hong Kong choreographer Corey Yuen, the film's old-style martial arts fight scenes (using wires and effects) are acceptable, but not very innovative. I like the film for its nice visuals but obviously "Wu Dang" needs a better story.
(Note: the following review may contain spoilers solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you're the kind of smiler who prefers reviews entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to jump down to the last two paragraphs. Otherwise, buckle up and read on.)
According to legend, Wu Dang mountain conceals some serious treasures. Indeed, a few maps have escaped from the monastery, one falling into the hands of a professor / treasure hunter Tang Yunlong (played by Vincent Zhao). He takes his ailing prodigy daughter, Ning (Xu Jiao), to the mountain to complete in a kung fu championship, but his secret desire is to obtain the hidden seven artifacts for - together - they might hold the secret to curing her sickness. However, a female treasure hunter - Tian Xin (the lovely Yang Mi) - will stand in his way ... unless the two join forces to stop a deadly monk with aspirations of stealing the mysticism of Ying Yang in order to be turned into a god!Read more ›
The action sequences are great, and the fight scene in the library was wonderfully choreographed, but there are a few weak spots.
The first is the tournament is not treated very tournament like - it is more of a side bar than the character it needs to be and could have been used more and in better ways.
The sleeping kung-fu was a bit lame, though it was humorous, but that could have been done better as well.
Over all, this was fun, and an enjoyable watch but the re-watch value is depleted once the case is solved.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Father and daughter search for treasure found where the map takes them.Plenty of eye candy!!!I have over 100 martial arts movies.This one is OK!!!Published 19 months ago by Cat's Clause
am a huge Vincent Zhao fan and try to get all his movies and TV series. This movie has some great action and martial arts. Check this movie out!Published on December 29, 2013 by C. L. Horton
I enjoyed watching movies and i have yet to have any problems with what im watching. keep up the good work..Published on August 26, 2013 by William Pearson