January 20, 2006


The PromiseSo I promised a special review on Friday and here it is. I just stumbled across a place selling shiny, new, English-subtitled DVDs of THE PROMISE and it took me all of two seconds to snap one up. It took me considerably longer to get through the movie itself, though, not because it's particularly bad but because it's definitely the kind of thing that'd be overwhelming on the big screen, but a little bit hard to sit through without squirming on the small.

The most notable thing about THE PROMISE is that it's absolutely gorgeous. I'd add it to CASSHERN as an almost entirely-digital film that manages to create a whole new world through the director's sheer will to over design. The colors pop, the costumes crackle, and the sets (or at least what you can see of them behind the costumes) are what we've come to expect from Chinese period movies: enormous interior sets with very little furniture constructed on cavernous soundstages.

The flick starts out with the titular promise: Cecilia Cheung is a starving ragamuffin looting the bodies of dead soldiers on a lightly smoking battlefield. Suddenly a fairy appears and grants her one of those wish/curses that are so popular in fairy tales: Cecilia will be totally hot and get everything she wants but she can't find true love - in fact, all of her boyfriends will die tragically - until time runs backwards and the dead come back to life. Fast forward a bit and Hiroyuki Sanada, who is the Master of the Crimson Armor, is defeating 20,000 barbarians with a bunch of slaves, some silly styrofoam weapons, and a whole lot of scheming. The fastest slave (and the only one who survives the attack of the barbarian bulls) is Kunlun (Jang Dong-Kun) becomes his personal slave and the two set out to save the King from an attack by the Duke, Nic Tse. On the way, Hiroyuki gets wounded and has to send Jang Dong-Kun ahead disguised in his armor and the poor guy screws everything up: he kills the king, saves the girl (Cecilia Cheung) and then jumps off a cliff. And the hijinx are only just beginning!

The PromiseWhat happens next is probably the least important part of this movie since Chen Kaige has traded story for spectacle. The story is pasted together like something a couple of kids are making up in the backseat of the car on a long road trip, "And then they put her in a giant birdcage, and then the fairy appeared, and then they ran so fast that time went backwards..." but what Chen's focused on is how things look, and they look gooood. The sets, with their anomalous cherry blossom trees, giant gilded bird cages, and hanging prisons, feels like the old BATMAN tv show from the 60's on a big budget and in China. The actors (Nic Tse in particular) change hairstyles and costumes every five minutes like clockwork, and if I learned one thing from this movie it's that daggers will be very in next season: you can hide them in a necklace, in a chair, or in a fan. Nothing is too stylish or too small to hide a dagger! And a dagger tells the world, "Hey, I'm dangerous and sleek. But it's only because I'm hurting on the inside."

There are some staggering set pieces in this movie: a battle between Snow Wolf, an Edward Scissorhands look-a-like, and Nic Tse; the second rescue of Cecilia Cheung from the palace; Nic Tse's human chair. But the whole movie feels like Chen Kaige wasn't making it for humans from the planet Earth, but for fashion forward aliens from the planet Drag Queen. Every actor prances and minces like they're auditioning for a role in PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT PART 2, and if it's not Hiroyuki Sanada's fussy little mannerisms, or the King's pageboy bob, it'll be Nic Tse with his big pimp walking sticks (one of which features a golden thumbs up sign to signify his pleasure) that sends you over the edge.

Larded with special effects, THE PROMISE actually has some good action direction (in a Ching Siu-tung, "Everybody fly now" kind of way) courtesy of Dion Lam, but you have to dig through layers of flab to see them. Out of everyone Jang Dong-Kun (TAE GUK GI; NOWHERE TO HIDE) gets the Best Actor award for managing to take things absolutely seriously, even while running at five million miles an hour like a very silly Road Runner. He's able to sell the silliness, and by the fifth time he turned on the super speed I had quit giggling. Hiroyuki Sanada also grows on you, and his performance slowly morphs from campy prancing and moustache stroking, to a grumpy version of John Malkovich in DANGEROUS LIASONS, to an actual real live performance by the end. Nic Tse is...well, there's not much to say about what he's doing here. He's obviously been abducted by aliens and is beaming his performance in from some very weird, very distant place. Cecilia Cheung is the movie's biggest liability in the acting department. Despite some nice moments, she's mostly drowning and floundering. She doesn't seem used to holding her performance together in the face of this kind of gargantuan epic movie and for the most part she's either posing like Brigitte Lin in ASHES OF TIME or swishing her robes like Maggie Cheung in ASHES OF TIME.

The most surprising thing about this movie is how Chen Kaige approaches it with absolutely no seriousness whatsoever. The scene where Jang Dong-Kun kills the King and save Cecilia is one of the silliest, most anachronistic things I've ever seen outside of a Stephen Chow movie, featuring a striptease, a bitchy king, and a big gold thumbs up from Nic Tse at the end. Throughout the film, Hiroyuki Sanada is constantly undermining his own performance by doing an imitation of the Cowardly Lion in the WIZARD OF OZ, and Nic Tse is like one big, long wink to the camera. It's a breath of fresh air to see an epic with so little reverence for its material that it can barely take itself seriously, but on the downside how are we supposed to sit still and listen to the story if the storytellers are too busy cracking each other up?

January 20, 2006 at 07:50 AM in Reviews | Permalink


I saw this as well, thanks again to New York City. But I can't be as kind as Grady is. First of all, the special effects are bad, and not just low-budget bad, but distractingly bad. Chinese CGI has never been up to par, but this is one of the first films I've seen where they've tried to bring it front and center anyway. The result is a complete mess, and since every scene has CGI in it, it's impossible not to notice throughout the entire film.

Also, what's with the Superman references? First off, they do, indeed, run backwards through time. And


at the end, two characters (I won't tell you which) literally look at each other and fly off into outer space. I mean, fucking OUTER SPACE. I laughed for a good twenty minutes.

Too goofy, WAY too long, and too over the top, even for Kaige. I like that there's humor there, but like Grady said, this movie is impossible to take seriously. There was a ten minute section when we sat down and said "ok, maybe we should stop making fun of this and take it seriously, because this might be really REALLY good", but ten minutes later we started up again. Oh well.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 20, 2006 8:28:57 AM

I want to see this right now! Sounds like the Chinese arthouse wuxia version of Showgirls. --I am so there!

Posted by: KuRt. | Jan 20, 2006 8:31:53 AM

Where in NYC did you pick this up? Specifically.

Posted by: Lucy | Jan 20, 2006 11:20:33 AM

Grady, I'm with you. This movie is goddamn NUTS. I can't exactly call it bad, but man, it's just enthrallingly berserk. I find myself unable to resist popping it into the player and looking at it again and again. Why is this? And who should I speak to about it?

Posted by: Abe Goldfarb | Jan 20, 2006 11:45:37 AM

I recommend you speak to the health care professional in your life. A doctor, or even a registered nurse, should be able to direct you to resources for assistance.

If you want to find a copy of THE PROMISE, Region 6 DVDs are available all through Chinatown. Just walk around until you see a store with a PROMISE poster on the front door.

That ending was very SUPERMAN - I agree. I sat there looking at it and kept expecting Marlon Brando's floating face to appear and dispense some wisdom.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Jan 20, 2006 12:26:58 PM

Grady, shame on you for buying a bootleg...unless this is a legal Chinese DVD. I am completely against Miramax and their ilk but will only buy legal imports.

Posted by: glenn | Jan 20, 2006 1:48:36 PM

my point is that Miramax and their ilk in the past were trying to lump boots in with the legal import versions of Hero and whatnot. That pisses me off. I have every right to buy a legal import. That's all I was trying to say. I personally still will not buy a bootleg but that's just me.

Posted by: glenn | Jan 20, 2006 1:50:46 PM

"Kal-El...do not sell your film to Miramax, Kal-El..."

Posted by: djm | Jan 20, 2006 7:04:23 PM

No explicit mention of the flying kite? Grady, I'm shocked! :DDD

Posted by: YTSL | Jan 20, 2006 8:04:54 PM

haha, i saw this film a week or so ago, if ur gonna go bootleg you might as well just download the damm thing, it doesn't take long at all. if u wanna order legit, monkeypeaches sells it legit straight from China.

This is a retarded film period, an embarrassment to Chinese people. But I disagree with the superman reference, superman spins the earth backwards to revert time which is just plain stupid. The Promise is just running extremely fast, supposedly past the speed of light in order to make time flow backwards, though if that was true you wouldn't be able to see the characters, but that's just plain retardedness on Chen like his styrofoam balls weapon that showed no tension on the chains at all to give it realism.

Posted by: Ashoro | Jan 20, 2006 10:19:26 PM

To calm glenn, the 100% official Chinese DVD is for sale in Chinatown, not a bootleg. The only downside is the region 6 PAL coding for curious fans without the proper player, and an annoying logo that pops up every fifteen minutes or so. If you must own it (and any fan of high camp insanity must) then this is a perfectly legal, inexpensive way to do so. I'll probably get it again when the HK disc is released, since the quality and extras will be better. But that's only because I'm an idiot.

Posted by: Abe Goldfarb | Jan 20, 2006 10:45:32 PM

I got this DVD today as well - in Oakland Chinatown for less than $10 and I think everyone here has the right take on this crazy film.

Sorry to disappoint Grady but I'm not sure if this movie would improve by watching it on a big screen since some of the special effects look quite cheesy on the small screen. In particular I got to mention that Ernest Hemingway running-with-the-bulls scene at the beginning where our (slave) Hero manages to lead the pack of horny beasts away from the men in red (I mean talk about toreadors...). It looks like a failed test from POLAR EXPRESS or a sequence from LORD OF THE RINGS made by a disgruntled digital effects employee.

I had no problems (ha ha) with the speed running but what got me guffawing was the on-screen acceleration which is either a homage to the Keystone Kops or a gigantic mistake.

MASTER OF THE CRIMSON ARMOUR demonstrates that we are now living in a post-KUNG FU HUSTLE post-HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS world. That is, everything looks beautiful and cartoony silly at the same time. I've got to say that throughout most of the movie I thought I was watching extended commercials - all those rippling waters, pristine color-coordinated designs (the general's horse's mane is red, like his outfit), and non-naturalistic fields of green were like exhortations for buying skin cleansing or feminine hygiene products.

It's almost as if bereft of any new ideas to bring to this commercialized genre, Chen has to fall back on combining (instead of synthesizing) bits of things he has been watching - STAR WARS, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, TROY, THE MUMMY, and maybe (given that giant gilded cage) MGM musicals etc.

More seriously though - in the long perspective of history I think we have to feel some disappointment if not sadness at some of the missteps that this film represents in the career of one of China's most talented filmmakers (does he still deserve that title?) When Anthony Mann ended up making THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE or EL CID, he did it with some seriousness of purpose and tragedy (was not Mann commenting on his own fate as a filmmaker at the end of EL CID when the titular hero, now dead, is sent out on his horse as a still functioning icon, i.e. a dead man going through the motions?). And when King Hu (another art action director) went for "special effects" in LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN, he produced his second most ludicrous film but it does stand as a proto-Tsui Hark movie (for better or for worse). If there is any non-kitsch/camp redeeming feature of MASTER OF THE CRIMSON ARMOUR, it lies in the scenes where special effects are noticeably absent both in the more dramatic moments and the action scenes (the Duke and Assassin fight between the moving screens towards the end for example).

The basic idea of the film - of a slave's relationship with his master and the notion of loyalty - is a very interesting one and something that a major filmmaker like Chen could be expected to explore with some depth if not irony. However, maybe it says a lot about him and Chinese epic film that as an maverick in a state-run system, Chen was a Master of cinema. In the brave new world of commercial, internationalized Chinese cinema, he has become its Slave.

Posted by: RG | Jan 20, 2006 11:38:33 PM

Enjoyable review. A big gold thumb up to you. You know, it wasn't as bad I thought it was going to be. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. But The Promise is a fun movie.

Posted by: Wise Kwai | Jan 20, 2006 11:55:58 PM

If I'm honest, RG, while you make a lot of salient points, this entry into the post-Daggers martial arts epic stakes doesn't strike me as compromised or slavish. It's the most dementedly idiosyncratic of all the new-school actioners, and there are times when I could seriously swear that Chen Kaige isn't kidding. That is, of course, what makes it so hypnotically weird. Look, it's obviously not GOOD, but it reminds me a lot of The Duelist in its superficial genre trappings and total, almost sneaky individuality. It definitely feels like a Chen Kaige movie in a way that Zhang Yimou's period actioners kind of didn't feel like a Zhang Yimou movie.

Posted by: Abe Goldfarb | Jan 20, 2006 11:56:37 PM

Abe, you're right. I think Chen Kaige takes it all quite seriously and the film is quite humorless (the laughs are surely unintentional). It's in the realm of some demented grandiose vision, like a warped latter day David Lean/Kubrick or whoever. In fact Chen is more like Bertolucci (I think the effect which THE LAST EMPEROR had on the Fifth Generation has yet to be nailed) - from seriousness to kitsch. But perhaps Chen is only a reflection of what has happened to the Chinese revolution...

Posted by: RG | Jan 21, 2006 12:09:08 AM

Bet up here in Toronto the bootlegs hit the stores first! Was in a C-Town mall near my office on Tuesday and it was playing on every tv in each dvd shop. I watched the raggamuffin scene and thought it was the new Jeff Lau film!

Then the whole buffalo scene? Yikes! Holy overkill Batman! How many freakin' bison were in that stampede?

And considering how these $5 boots are flying off the shelf and into the dvd players of the many families looking for a blammo Chinese New Year flick --- Grady, I hold you SOLELY repsonsible for supporting these pirates!

ps - I'll tell you how soon FEARLESS hits T.O. streets...

Posted by: jiangtou | Jan 21, 2006 7:57:39 AM

i got an all region/PAL/NTSC player so I will indeed get this if it's a legal Chinese DVD. Sounds like that logo is as annoying as the one on the first edition of the 2046 mainland DVD. Crap.

Posted by: glenn | Jan 21, 2006 8:16:06 PM

Oh, I should also mention that I am one of the few that love Legend of Zu almost as much as the first Zu flick. Is the Promise as ridiculous as that flick? As good-looking?

Posted by: glenn | Jan 21, 2006 8:17:14 PM

What a terrible movie! Ridiculous storyline. Mediocre acting. Messy special effects and lame costumes. All the ingredients for a disastrous movie are there.

Kaige should have made a parody-filled comedy with the material. Perhaps that would have been more successful...

Posted by: Dilu | Jan 21, 2006 8:58:50 PM

God, why do I keep posting about this one....? Anyway, glenn, I think it's 50 times as ridiculous as Legend of Zu, and about 100 times better looking. It's just so damnably pretty, and so unbelievably goofy, it has a rewatch value above and beyond films much more intelligently and soundly made. I have seriously experienced mushroom hallucinations more coherent than this film, but it won't stop calling to me from the shelf, "Dude, you know you want to see Nic Tse get all girly with his royal pointer again." (Once seen, this makes perfect sense. No, wait, it doesn't.) It begs the question, though: vis a vis picking projects, will Cecilia Cheung never learn? Lau Ching Wan good. Greenscreen bad.

Posted by: Abe Goldfarb | Jan 22, 2006 3:17:31 AM

This is such a weird movie. I would say in the long run, it would be remembered as a masterpiece, though Kaige may not deserve it.

I agree with the comments that Kaige took the topic so seriously. He meant it to be a "Hamlet" or what so ever that he was so heavy handed in the emotions. You can feel it from the pictures and the musics.

The uncontrollable laughing the audience has, will be sure, embarass Kaige if he is in the theatre. I guess that he is expecting people to watch it as an opera and obessed.

This somehow, unintentionally created a masterpiece. The seriouness to create a masterpiece inevitably will be welcomed by laugther. The film making itself is a tragical comedy. It is like you are watching a child trying to do something well like a grownup, but just can not do it well. You are so sympathatic not to laugh but you finally burst out the unctrollable laugh. You feel a bit guilty ... But you know he has tried his best ...

This feeling matches the whole plot itself so well. How can you change your fate and destiny? You try so hard... But can you get a hint from the God? I can not help being moved so deeply.

It is a failure for Kaige CHEN, I would say, but it definitely a masterpiece, as a film.

Posted by: rrr | Jan 22, 2006 2:45:08 PM

The performance of Slave, sure is brillant. The general, in the first look, is so unnatural and pretentious. However, a lot of trigical feelings and irony effects come from him. He controlls the role very audaciouslly and delicately.

Posted by: rrr | Jan 22, 2006 3:06:42 PM

What is the biggest difference betwen Kaige Chen and Yimou Zhang?
Yimou Zhang always does his best within his capability -- I would say Yimou is one of the directors with least imagination. Kaige Chen always tries to do the best, one step out of his capability - while he is definitely creative.
That is why you can constantly feel irony from his films. There is some awkawrdness there due to over- extension.

Posted by: rrr | Jan 22, 2006 3:27:33 PM

"Yimou Zhang always does his best within his capability...Kaige Chen always tries to do the best, one step out of his capability."

I think this is the best summation of where these two directors' careers have put them that I've ever heard. I think Chen Kaige is 100% serious about the themes of THE PROMISE, but I also think he's inserted an unusual amount of humor into this film (Hiroyuki Sanada gives one of the funniest performances I've seen in a movie in a long time) in the interest of naturalism, much as Akira Kurosawa lets Toshiro Mifune clown it up in SEVEN SAMURAI. But I think this kind of "major Chinese epic wu xia film" automatically has no room for naturalism and so the end result is quite bizarre.

There's so much to recommend this film - the kite scene, Snow Wolf/Edward Scissorhands, the Big Bird Cage, Nic Tse's golden pointer - that it's strange to me that ultimately it's not a satisfying movie. What was Chen Kaige thinking? My bet is that he was thinking he'd show these "other" directors how to make this kind of movie and the resultant film we all are watching is very different from the film inside his skull.

Also - if anyone's worried this is a bootleg, I think it's just a parallel import (although it's not technically parallel right now since no one owns the US rights). I think the version in Chinatown (the Region 6 DVD) is one of the new anti-piracy 2 yuan DVDs that I'm told are hitting the streets in China to try to stay ahead of the bootleggers. I'm guessing this because it's plastered with ads all over the box and there are about 50 ads you have to watch before the movie begins.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Jan 22, 2006 3:56:36 PM

It looks *gorgeous* on the big screen -- I was fortunate enough to see it on a big one at the Palm Springs Film Festival, and the colors burst forth like fireworks. By no means is it a great film, but it's so outrageously entertaining it's impossible to resist. Has anyone seen KILLING ME SOFTLY? I wonder if that dreadful, "so awful it really is awful" picture broke Chen's spirit? Anyway, love all the comments here -- reflects my feelings as well.

Posted by: Peter Martin | Jan 23, 2006 11:13:01 PM

I think "The Promise" is amazing.

Posted by: John Demetry | Jan 24, 2006 1:34:28 PM

There really is a point in the film where you just have to say to hell with logic and story and character and basically mindmeld with the film - once you do that it really is quite cool in some sort of other dimensional way. There are like 8 million shots in the film in which I just wanted to put it on pause and go "cool" - right from when the Goddess's hair floated upward - if only we could really do that. Still you have wonder why no one took Chen Kaige aside at some point and said - you do realize this a gay wet dream don't you? And I love that Miramax dropped it because of supposed disagreements over Oscar strategy - my guess is that Harvey finally saw it and had a seizure.

Posted by: Brian N | Jan 24, 2006 8:00:09 PM

saw this one in Tokyo, where it was released last weekend. what's with all of you hipsters in North America, who can't even get a major film released in your own supposedly superior and sophisticated markets? anyway, the house was packed, and the audience was laughing a lot. Sanada was realistically made up and Mifune-like (remember that he doesn't speak any Chinese languages, either, like the majority of Japanese), I agree, and he also had a seriousness which avoided the 'wink at the camera' smugness which some of you spotted but which evaded me. I've been reading Harris's THE END OF FAITH, and his examination of belief, and whoa did this one charge up the suspension of disbelief. nonetheless, lots of archetypes touched on and many (too many) gay fantasies (I've never been to me!?) packed into a somewhat overlong pic (I only looked at my cellphone clock once, with 30 mins left to go). The regicide scene was a hoot--as persuasive an argument for the abolition of monarchy if there ever was one--and I thought the film outdid most recent Ancient Epics (i.e., Gladiator), by emphasizing myth and legend over History-masqued-by-revisionist-ideology. Funny, touching, but a few too many cherries (of a non-Japanese strain, OK). Like most Japanese flowering cherry species, though, it bears little fruit. Eye candy.

Posted by: mwainge | Feb 16, 2006 8:06:47 AM

I think the story has alot of potential. The Cinderella-like start was wonderful. Read this using yr own imagination, dont think of the actual film: A chance to change your destiny but with an untold price... A goddess who is a devil/Satan(?) in disguise and watch how her gift to a young girl change the fate of mankind like a domino effect... A girl who is loved yet cannot love... A slave in search of identity and longing for the woman of his master... A brave general weakened by his love and lust... An effeminate Duke obsessed with a childhood tragedy... Sounds good, eh?

If this sounds good, it means some of the bad scenes could be salvaged, actually. For instance, instead of Kunlun screwing up his rescue mission, he gets it right but before he could do anything Qing cheng kills the fatuous king for wanting to sacrifice her for his own sake. Which would make more sense than laughs. hey, this old tycoon geezer has been playing you like a doll when you're at the peak of your youth aka his daughter's age and he simply dumps you in fear of his usurper. No wonder she would want to kill him! And since the sissy Duke is so evil, he can simply conclude the 'general' is in cahoots with the girl. And the general could have been Chen Kaige's version of Marc Antony, abandoning his duty to be in bed with his lover. A pity this couldnt be developed fully due to his limited screentime.

And from all the people in the most populous country on earth, Nic is picked to play a character oozing with scene-stealing power and bungles it. Chen Kaige could have done a Brigitte Lin update by casting an actress as "him" to add more androgyny to 'his' appearance and give the sissy duke a touch of homoeroticism in contrast to the sex scenes between the macho general and his cursed muse. Anyone familiar with Hong Kong movies can noominate several actresses who fit the bill: (my top choice other than the late Anita Mui)Karen Mok, Anita Yuen (she did it twice!) Karena Lam, Shu Qi or even Sammi Cheng!

Yet the ultimate error is not the crappy CGIs , bad acting and whatnot. It is simply a math equation gone wrong. Like something as bizzare as getting Marilyn Manson to collaborate with the Beattles, what the Promise came to be is the result of combining the wrong people in the wrong genre at the wrong time (if The Promise was lauched before Kung-fu hustle, the Road-runner antics would not have looked so funny): arthouse director Chen Kaige is assisted by a team of story writers from television shows, Las Vegas show costume designers /bird-ophiles, KungFu Hustle-worshipping CGI makers and mulitply all that with the tonnes of $$renminbi$$ pumped in. That's why the Promised epic mutated into a movie of beyond-House-of-Flying-Dagger visual splendour, yet with a storyline that plays like some idiot mixed up the scripts of Hero with A Chinese Tall Story (now we know why outer space came into the big picture).

Perhaps money was the cause of all the trouble.

Too much dough too sudden in the pockets of Chen Kaige that like a broke schoolboy who just found a $1000 note... or like a post-war broke African coutry government suddenly with million-dollar UN funds brimming from its coffers, he stopped looking at the big picture and happily splurged on the pre-Bird-flu feathers and gaudy packaging and bombastic set pieces and take for granted the stars' pull-factor (admit it, you like them!) to draw in the sales. If this kind of extravagance and wastage were to happen in a charitable organisation, we will be outraged and really angry as donors who had a heart to give back to society. But in the world of entertainment,we can only pity the sucker who invested so much money in this empty Promise...

Posted by: deedee | Feb 18, 2006 3:33:34 PM

I really liked it! Is that funny or what? I had it for a while but didnt watch it because of all the negative reviews about its outrageous over-the-top storyline but once I started watching it, I was hooked.

I thought the beginning started really badly. Especially the running of the bulls and the emperor at the top of the roof (reminds me of East is Red). But once it gets going, it is really fun.

I think the way the story is shown is just spectacular. And each character is so interesting. I cant think of any good fantasy epic where each character had such personality. I thought Cecilia was absolutely beautiful. Thank god they didnt use her cracky voice. She is just stunning.

I know the storyline is silly and you have to scream at the slave for being such an idiot at times... But I cant stop re-watching it for the kite flying scene and the ending. Beautiful movie.

Posted by: Scott Yu | Mar 2, 2006 11:11:41 PM


Yea it's pretty, but it is badly made. The story does not capture the viewer.

SPL is way better.

Posted by: kenny | Mar 15, 2006 2:54:13 AM

I watched this movie just because Nic was in it ... and as it turned out , THE MOVIE WAS HORRIBLE!! I've seen WAY better work than this from Nic . But you can't blame him this time .. *Shakes Head*

ByE bYe!!

Posted by: Someone | Mar 25, 2006 2:52:59 PM

Agree with all comments posted thus far. This movie was sort of like a cross between Moulin Rouge and House of Flying Daggers. Pretty, though imperfect CGI. Disjointed story. Eclectic acting. Incohesiveness and not much chemistry between the actors. Maybe the PanAsian thing wasn't such a good idea. Each actor seemed to have his or her own idea or agenda in this movie. Nic Tse has never really been known for his acting nor his music. But he's a highly marketable second-generation-Hong-Kong-llywood commodity. And then again, the same could be said for Cecilia Cheung also. Not really sure what they were trying to accomplish with this movie. I guess the basic intent of most films is, first and foremost, to entertain. And maybe if the director is good, the film can even get you to think a little. I think this one was just marginally entertaining at best. Not trying to be mean. It is what it is.

Posted by: dng | May 7, 2006 6:48:21 AM

shut up! or i will fly u as a kite

Posted by: master of the crimson armour | May 29, 2006 8:20:21 AM

Well, I'm going to annoy some people but for me The Promise is easily one of the best Chinese movies I have seen...ever. I found the story to be beautifully played, the fairy tale aspects refreshing and the cinematography superb. Some of the compositions in this film have real power and the whole thing works fantastically throughout. If I have to read another idiot whining on about poor CGI ( in fact it suits the surreal fairytale aspects of the film, making it like a living storybook)I'll blow my top. Have you no imagination at all?!
I have leant this to several people who enjoy asian cinema and they all agree with me. And I don't love it in any trendy "it's so camp/awful" way (none of which I see in it at all). I just think it is a great film.

Posted by: eric.coyle | Oct 5, 2006 9:42:07 AM

The Promise is a great fairytale story,i dont understand why all you people are dissappointed in it. I got it expecting to see a surreal fairytale love story and thats what i got...what the hell did you think it was going to be? Some dark gritty tale of war and sex? The cgi fits the storybook format perfectly and the fight scenes are fantastic. It also has one of the best soundtracks i have heard all year!

Posted by: Scott | Oct 22, 2006 3:46:45 AM

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