This fantasy film is a retelling of the ancient Chinese Legend
of the White Snake.
In this version, it is a strange, sad love story, and a Buddhist moral fable.
Actress Shengyi (Eva) Huang, in a heart-breaking perfomance,
is the immortal White Snake Demon,
who has hopelessly fallen in love with mortal herbalist Xu Xian.
Relentlessly pursuing them for transgressing the laws of cosmic balance,
is Jet Li, as the demon-hunting monk Fa Hai, assisted by his apprentice Neng Ren.
Very much like "Ghostbusters", these two entrap the malevolent spirits
inside an arcane rock device, and they transport them
to a spirit prison, inside a hallowed pagoda.
There are very touching, romantic elements in the film,
but these are eclipsed by far too many martial arts scenes,
and a cascade of special effects, which are of uneven quality.
Some of the special effects are very beautiful-like the human chain
of monks chanting a mantra of exorcism, while submerged beneath water.
Other special effects are unoriginal "loans" from Hollywood movies:
The fight of Fa Hai with the Bat Demon, is very similar to Gandalf
fighting the Balrog. When the White Snake's rage floods the temple
of Jinshang, we are watching the 2012 flooding of the Tibetan temple.
A friendly spirit and assistant to the White Snake is a cartoonish
rat, straight from "Ratatouille".
There are no extras in this Blu-ray, not even a trailer.
If you care for a powerful telling of the Buddhist story of the
doomed love of a demon for a mortal, I recommend watching Pan Nalin's
"Valley of Flowers" (2006).