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The Promise

Most expensive Chinese film ever made reaches US shores
By PETER KEOUGH  |  May 4, 2006
1.5 1.5 Stars

The Promise
The Promise

It’s a promise: amp up effects and budget at the expense of plot and character and, even with an auteur in charge, shit happens. Chen Kaige has helped make Chinese cinema famous with the likes of Yellow Earth and Farewell My Concubine. Now he’s out to make it some money. After an artful introduction in which a waif steals a cookie from a dead soldier’s hand and then outwits the cocky son of the warlord who wants to make her his slave, Chen abandons child’s play for the serious business of churning out a product that can double as a video game. A goddess offers the waif everything she wants except the man she loves, and she grows into a princess batted among an effete lord, a vain general, and a slave with super-speed but low self-esteem. Some of the f/x evoke the silent comedies and Roadrunner cartoons (or last year’s Kung Fu Hustle). Most, though, are over-produced, repetitive, and dull. The Promise is most expensive Chinese movie ever made and the most successful, but at what cost?
  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Movies, Chen Kaige,  More more >
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