Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Nilsen
    Sep 29, 2011
    60
    If you can ignore the implausibility -- nay, the opacity -- of the plot, the film is wonderfully cinematic, with great photography, exciting editing, fresh camera angles and some impressive CGI.
  2. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Sep 2, 2011
    60
    To maximize your entertainment budget, look no further.
  3. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Aug 30, 2011
    60
    As the Sherlock Holmes of the second Zhou Dynasty, Lau is so effortlessly appealing that he manages to anchor the fatigue-heavy proceedings, even when his character has to outrun both the rays of the sun - don't ask - and a collapsing statue while crawling over and under a pack of stampeding horses. Now that's star power.
  4. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Sep 23, 2011
    50
    A lightweight but enjoyable yarn.
  5. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    Sep 15, 2011
    50
    Pure escapist hokum, with action choreography by Sammo Hung, but I sure miss that old-school wire work.
  6. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Sep 2, 2011
    50
    All this is loads of fun, but after a while sensory overload sets in, dulling the mind. Even in a kung-fu flick, more isn't always better.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Sep 19, 2011
    4
    I walked out of this film after about an hour. It's well shot, edited, acted, scored...the CGI is really good, the vistas are occasionallyI walked out of this film after about an hour. It's well shot, edited, acted, scored...the CGI is really good, the vistas are occasionally breathtaking....but it seemed like it was part of a Chinese series that I wasn't familiar with,and so I became bored. It was like watching an Indiana Jones movie when you didn't understand any of the cultural references, so the goings-on seemed disconnected and empty. Not enough action, intrigue or suspense from my point of view. Full Review »
  2. Oct 16, 2011
    4
    In first-century China, people are mysteriously bursting into flames, so, a group of experts is assembled to find out why. If there's anyIn first-century China, people are mysteriously bursting into flames, so, a group of experts is assembled to find out why. If there's any reason to watch the film, it's the martial arts scenes. Peppered throughout the tedious dialogue (in subtitles, no less) are a few jumbled fights that defy all physics. This is less "Crouching Tiger" and more Saturday morning kiddie action. Some of the art direction is interesting, but this is much too talky and unoriginal to merit attention. Full Review »
  3. Oct 10, 2011
    7
    Being a big fan of Crouching Tiger, House of Daggers, Hero, etc., I had to see this film. Although I would rank it last among those greatBeing a big fan of Crouching Tiger, House of Daggers, Hero, etc., I had to see this film. Although I would rank it last among those great films, I still enjoyed it. It doesn't possess the strong character development of those other great films, but is so strong on the visuals that it is a feast for the eyes. The plot is way too confusing but in the end I could figure most of it out. The fight scenes are Hollywood style - a moving camera and extreme close-ups so you can't see what's going on. They are not the great choreographed style of Crouching Tiger. The CGI varies - the giant Buddha looks fantastic, but the deer was jittery and fake looking. Overall I enjoyed the film due to the visual delights. I probably will purchase it is Blu-ray because it looks so great. Costumes, interior/exterior designs, beautiful locations - it excels in those areas. Full Review »