Until recently, I didn't know China has its own Razzie award (called "Golden Broom Awards"). Produced by Jackie Chan, "Legendary Amazons" is nominated for all four categories of the Chinese Razzie - worst film, worst director, worst actor and worst actress. Well, just in case you are interested in this instant cult classic.
The film's story is based on "Yang Jia Jiang" ("Generals of the Yang clan"), which served as a basis of the Shaw Brothers 1972 film "The 14 Amazons." In the new version we meet the Yang family, ferociously loyal to the Song Dynasty's emperor. Most male members of the Yang clan are dead after a long time serving for the country.
When Mu Guiying (Cecilia Cheung), wife of General Yang Zongbao (Richie Ren) in charge of the fortress at the borders, learns the death of her beloved husband the armies during the battles against armies of Western Xia, the widows of the Yang clan take up their weapons of choice, and set out for the battlefield for revenge, despite the enemies far outnumbering them, and a corrupt high-rank official trying to interfere.
Not a bad story, is it? But the way the filmmakers ruins it is something amazing. Except for Cheng Pei-pei ("Jade Fox" of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), the film's stars give career-killing performances that are unintentionally funny. The costumes are surely decent, and so is the cinematography shot on location, but cheesy visual effects and over-the-top action stunts (with some silly gadgets) make the film look like a comedy sometimes. I really like the "red pepper attack" sequence.
If you are not willing to spend your precious time on something totally ridiculous, just skip this one. If you are an avid moviegoer who can enjoy terrible movies ("Battlefield Earth," for instance) for its terribleness, you might find this mess entertaining ... not in the way they filmmakers intended. From a sheer artistic point of view, "Legendary Amazons" is just a mess, though I must add to me this is an entertaining mess, which is something not many films can achieve.