Title: Wu Dang
Directed by: Patrick Leung
Starring: Wenzhuo Zhao, Mini Yang, Siu-Wong Fan, Yu-Hang To, Jiao Xu
Running time: 101 minutes, Not Rated, Available on Blu-ray
Special Features: Behind the Scenes, Trailer
During the early days of Republican China, a widower treasure seeker and his martial arts prodigy daughter travel to Wu Dang mountain to compete in a Kung Fu championship, and also look for the fabled seven treasures hidden within.
Despite this film is completely in Mandarin (because having to read subtitles can get irritating), it is an entertaining action-adventure/comedy/fantasy. The fight choreography albeit fantastical, was visually stunning; and note the martial arts is the star of the film. The story and characters leading up to each fight scene are like an afterthought. While the daughter is adorable, the reluctant monk caring for his overbearing mother whom keeps blatantly hinting that he marry the prodigy daughter is funny and there is a hint of romance between the father and a female rival treasure seeker, their storylines almost seem like filler.
Wu Dang isn’t your usual martial arts film. It’s kind of like a live action anime. Nobody really gets badly hurt (at least not that I noticed), so I would think it to be adequate family entertainment if you feel so inclined. I have to include one of the best random lines ever in a martial arts film was when the father asks his daughter, “Are you okay? Did you fall off the cliff?” She replies matter-of-factly, “Yes, but I know martial arts.”
Reviewed by: JM Willis
Total Rating: B