Full credit should be given to the Pang Brothers for taking on the huge, daunting responsibilty of creating a sequel to one of the highest grossing movies of all time at China's box office, especially when they specialize in the supernatural chiller style of horror and have no prior martial arts experience. Whoever took on the challenge, and whatever feature they delivered, would've been met with a considerable amount of critism due to the high levels of expectations generated from the original, which in turn, can never be fully realized on a satisfactory level. Thankfully, i read numerous bad reviews slating this dark follow-up to The Storm Riders, and so, my level of expectation was next to zero when i finally sat down to watch it for myself; i ended up being pleasantly surprised and thoroughly entertained.
Simon Yam is cast as the emphatic evil warlord Godless; Lam Suet (my personal favourite) is King Piggy; Charlene Choi provides the eye candy as Second Dream (although, "Every Full Bloody Man's Dream" would've been a better name for her character - she looks stunning); Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok reprise their roles as Wind and Cloud; and, do i need to mention the amazing special effects that The Pang Bothers have become renowned for throughout their careers?
Personally, i find watching warriors do ridiculous kung-fu moves like: throwing scores of swords through the air conjured out of thin air; creating impenetrable forcefields; running up mountains; leaping forty foot in the air; getting up without a scratch after being slammed 100mph into solid rock; walking in the realms of death, and a whole host of other mind-blowingly imaginative ideas to be a whole lot of fun; and, if you're not psyched to see the Pang's rather impressive sequel, loaded with spectacular CGI visuals and epic battle sequences, then you just don't appreciate crazy, overly stylized Chinese martial arts movies to the fullest.
Yes, the story is a tad lame but that's nothing most viewers, who consider themselves genuine fans, haven't already come to expect from Chinese fantasy flicks, in fact, it enhances the viewing experience on a certain level: creating numerous parodies for you to laugh at. If you're watching this type of flick expecting a gripping story with needless character development, which has already been achieved in the original, then i think you really need to have a long word with yourself in front of the mirror and stop taking things too seriously: it's meant to be fun so enjoy it for what it is.