The Promise is one of the finest Asian movies of recent years and strangely has gained a number of very negative reviews from various sources. Much of this stems from a misinterpretation of it as a film. Be warned, this is not a martial arts/kung fu movie,say in the vein of Hero, although it does have many excellent fight scenes. It is in fact a fairy tale told in a bravura style by one of the worlds best film directors. It has more in common with the original (dark) Grimm's tales than it does with any recent examples of cinema. Two of the main characters are cursed in some way by a Goddess, ensuring that the film is essentially a tragedy, albeit one with a "happy" ending.
I found this to be an incredibly uplifting visual experience, one greatly helped by one of the most beautiful soundtracks of recent years. The cinematography and image compositions are superb throughout. Approach this film with an open mind and you will enjoy what is, in my view, a genuine masterpiece of fantasy film making