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The Sorcerer and the White Snake
Reviewed by
Andrew Proverbs
on
The Sorcerer and the White Snake Review. One way to describe the direction of White Snake would be ‘energetic.’ Another would be ‘manic.’ The film flits from one character or scene to the next, almost on a whim, without any narrative structure to tie the whole thing together.  
Rating:
8.0

Feature 8.0
Video 8.5
Audio 8.0
Special Features 2.0
Total 8.0

Distributor: Icon
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Reviewer: Andrew Proverbs
Classification
: M15+

8.0


The Sorcerer and the White Snake

The Sorcerer and the White Snake is a film that wants you to sit up and take notice. Everything about it screams ‘Look at me!’ like a kid craving parental approval. With its flashy fantasy battles, ultra-bright palette and lavish CGI effects, the movie sets out to be nothing less than a visual and emotional spectacle of the highest order.  

On a remote mountainside, snake demon Susu and her sister Qingqing decide to play a trick on some local men who are out foraging for herbs. Qingqing assumes her demon form, knocking Xu Xian into the river below. But Susu suffers an attack of the guilts, and rescues Xian by giving him some of her life force. Captivated by the mortal shes just rescued, Susu insinuates herself into his life by pretending to be a human woman.  

Meanwhile, Abott Fahai and his young protégé Ren are hunting the bat demons that are attacking and killing the local populace. During his investigations Ren befriends Qingqing, unaware that she is a demon.

Ren foolishly tries to take on the bat demon by himself, but is bitten, and slowly begins to transform into his worst nightmare.  

With Ren now a demon and Susu and Xian engaged to be married, Abott Fahai continues his ruthless hunt of demonkind, a mission that threatens to destroy all parties involved. 

The story is fairly basic, and it never really evolves into anything more than the ‘forbidden love’ scenario that we’ve seen countless times before. But all of the roles are executed quite well, especially Raymond Lam as the pathetic, ignorant and hopeful Xian. Shengyi Huang is charming enough as Susu, and Jet Li steps comfortably into the role of the grizzled old martial arts veteran.  

One way to describe the direction of White Snake would be ‘energetic.’ Another would be ‘manic.’ The film flits from one character or scene to the next, almost on a whim, without any narrative structure to tie the whole thing together.  

The forbidden romance between Susu and Xian is the main storyline, and every other detail is just an excuse for Jet Li to fight a giant snake or take part in a battle of wills against demonic foxes in a bamboo forest. 

Visually, White Snake is a treat… or rather a banquet. Some stunning camera-work captures just about every colour that nature has to offer, and this is supplemented by sublime costumes and sets. During the battle scenes, CGI effects are heaped on with a trowel: Snakes fly out of peoples’ hands, giant fists appear out of the sky, frost and fireballs explode together.  

While these special effects aren’t on par with the latest offerings from hollywood, they’re still quite impressive- barring some awkward moments when the CGI is applied to the actors themselves. 

Audio/Video: 

There is some faint, intermittent graininess to the image, but the dearth of colours are very well defined. In the audio department there is an ever-so-slight lapse in the audio sync, but this never becomes a real problem.

Special Features: 

There isn’t much to get excited about here, just some trailers for other films in the WuXing collection and a sound check for the DTS-HD audio system. 

Closing comments: 

The Sorceror and the White Snake is a Mardi Gras of colour and sound. There are some broken story arcs and some dodgy CGI moments, but in the end the positive vibe, energy and attention to detail are enough to carry it over the line.






 
 



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