Infernal Affairs - My Kingdom (2011)
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Infernal Affairs
Hello, you've reached Raito's movie review blog. Most of what you'll find here is reviews of Chinese movies, because that's pretty much all I watch. :'D

November 2012
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Raito [userpic]
My Kingdom (2011)

This is your basic gilded idol vehicle starring Wu Chun, Han Geng and Barbie Hsu.  The costumes, set and soundtrack were fantastic, but overall, it wasn't enough to save the movie from mediocre acting and a thin, stretched plot.  At the start of the movie, a boy's whole family is executed in front of him.  He is spared because he sings a bit of opera and a boy apprentice asks his master to save him.

The two "brothers" are, of course, Han Geng and Wu Chun.  But first, the latter's master has his special  plaque taken from him in a duel with another master and they retreat to the mountains to learn to be "opera warriors".  When they grow up and come back to Shanghai, Barbie Hsu is the apprentice of that other master and they want to fight him to take back the plaque.  So that happens and they get all famous and stuff, then suddenly Han Geng wants to go back and kill the people responsible for his family's death.

There's really not much more to it than that, if I said more, it would give away what excuse for a plot twist there even is.  I suppose the plot was thin to accommodate the mediocre acting talents of the male leads.  Han Geng was completely unbuyable as his vengeful character and neither one of them did anything to convince me that they were as close as brothers.  So the inevitable betrayal or whatever you want to call it got no real reaction from me.  More like, an, oh, is that so.

The one bright spot was that Barbie hit it out of the park with the sad script she was handed.  Her character had a wide range of motivations and emotions and even though her story was just as thin, she actually put life into it.  That's acting, boys.

So yeah, mediocre movie.  Watch it for the stars or the pretty, but not the plot or acting.

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Tags: barbie hsu, historical, wu chun