The Promise [Blu-ray] 
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Martial arts fantasy adventure based on a story from Chinese mythology. Cecilia Cheung stars as Qingcheng a poor and starving orphan who is offered a deal by the Goddess Manshen (Hong Chen): she can live the rest of her life in the lap of luxury but will eventually lose every man she loves. Following a case of mistaken identity Qingcheng's fate becomes entwined with that of Kunlun (Dong-Kun Jang) the slave of the great General of the Crimson Armour (Hiroyuki Sanada). But with their fates sealed by a seemingly cruel and capricious higher power can either of them choose the life they want?
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Top Customer Reviews
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
Everything in this film is as polished as Chinese lacquer. The music and visuals will appeal to people who love classical history or Koei's 'Dynasty Warriors' and 'Kessen' game styles. Even the less fantasy-afflicted can pick up on the film's sheer romance and lush photography.
excellent spectacular film. lots of action and costumes of ancient china.
good acting and excellent fight scenes - a must for MA enthusiasts. dubbed in english, but dont let that put you off.
It certainly is all that!
The martial art element is fine but mostly to support the context of the fantasy.
If you like martial arts movies or are a student of martial arts then you will not like this if you only apprecitate the violent side of such. If however you can appreciate the path to enlightenment side of martial arts and indeed have a sense of beauty then i expect you will enjoy it.
In a nutshell, it is not as action packed as House of Flying Daggers or Hero but has some amazing imagery that you will never forget and has a stronger fantasy element running through it. The story and characters are really strong, they are pure and simple but never dull. The story has a great Shakespearean quality to it, mistaken identities and star crossed lovers. The performances are all very strong and enjoyable. The viallain is wicked and the beautiful woman who breaks the hearts of all who see her truly is beautiful.
For the first 20 minutes the film relies on CGI backgrounds and action setpieces made from CGI. These look undeniably poor and pretty cheap and it is a pretty dissappointing start to the film. Lukily the CGI is quickly dropped for real things such as amazing locations, costumes, palaces filled with hundreds of extras in extravagent uniforms and jaw dropping visuals. I watched it on Blu Ray and it really shines after those first twenty minutes. I can't describe too many of the visuals as I couldn't do them justice but to give you an idea, early on the beautiful woman is kidnapped by the villian, he gives her abeautiful coat made of white feathers to wear and then locks her in what is literally a giant golden birdcage. It is a stunning image that you won't forget. Thinking back on it, there are countless images and setpieces that are so visually stunning.
It's not a masterpiece and it is only the CGI that lets it down because it is a stunning martial arts fantasy on a huge scale.
It's a great movie and one I would highly recommend on Blu Ray. The CGI in the first 20minutes may be dissapointing but the rest more than makes up for it with imagery you will never forget.
When the world was young, laid a Kingdom between the Land of Snow and the Barbarian Territory where gods and men lived side by side and promises were lies. When the poor and starving orphaned girl Qingcheng meets the Goddess Manshen, she accepts to become the wealthy beauty of beauties with the curse that she would lose every man she loves, unless three things happen: snow falls in the spring, time moves backwards and the dead comes back to life. Years later, the slave Kunlun helps the Great General Master of the Crimson Armor Guangming to defeat a barbarian army with almost seven times more warriors, and Kunlun becomes his slave. When Guangming is wounded, he asks Kunlun to wear his armor and save the king from the cruel Duke of the North Wuhuan that put the Imperial City under siege with his army. However, Kunlun kills the king to save Princess Qingcheng and promises her to never let her die. Princess Qingcheng falls in love for the man of the crimson armor that she believes is the real General.
This is the most expensive film in Chinese history with a budget of 282,572,490 Yuan ($35 Million). But despite that this movie pay off only half hearted feeling.
The contains a lot of beautiful colours, settings, special effect and design, but what falls down is probably the story focus on too many things, first it starts like a typical action adventure then the romance focus takes over the other half of the film then the horror focus at the ending, its not a bad thing but it slow down the exiting feeling and sometimes it makes me feel lost of what kind of movie I am watching. But that's just a small nit-pick, the movie is a promise to bring enjoyment to their audience, and a good movie to introduce the western audience to Chinese mythology.
Verdict? See it
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a rich colorful fantasy, let down by over use of CGI, and a rather confusing plot. hard to believe this is from the same directer who gave us the magnificent 'Farewell My... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Colum Lavelle