The Promise

The Promise Image
Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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4.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 26
  2. Negative: 3 out of 26
  1. 100
    For Kaige, The Promise can't exactly be called a return to form--it's more a return to "Hero" and "House Of Flying Daggers" director Zhang Yimou's form. Either way, it's still glorious.
  2. Whether or not the story makes any sense, The Promise promises to transport - and does.
  3. Chen Kaige clearly intended this Chinese fantasy-action spectacle to top Zhang Yimou's "Hero," and I must admit that I prefer it to the earlier movie: the digital effects are sometimes excessive, yet Chen's story of a loyal slave, his master, and a wealthy, seemingly doomed princess is more affecting, especially in the closing stretch.
  4. 58
    Sumptuous and beautiful and as silly as a sack of nose glasses.
  5. There's a nice Road Runner-cartoon moment when the slave runs really, really fast, carrying the wounded general on his back while dodging an attack of CG bulls. I can't imagine Road Runner was what Chen had in mind for the most expensive movie ever made in China, but then, I was born too late for the time of the snowy eagle.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    Has a daft sweep, and if you're in the mood for empty swordplay in baroque settings, purple dialogue delivered with straight faces, and romantic yearnings that never, ever resolve, The Promise may be your cup of oolong.
  7. 12
    The Promise employs laughable computer effects and second-rate martial-arts fighting to tell the hard-to-figure story of a princess and her three lovers.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Apr 7, 2013
    8
    Very nice movie, by standarts of asian martial arts-fantasy movie. The plot is not so strong, but it is not the main thing. This movie isVery nice movie, by standarts of asian martial arts-fantasy movie. The plot is not so strong, but it is not the main thing. This movie is about bright fights, gods and legends. Light smooth moves, water and wind. Worth watching, if you like fights as in Crounching Tiger film. Expand
  2. PaulK.
    May 4, 2006
    4
    Don't believe the hype. While the story may be of interest to some, it is ultimately too cliche. That said, my biggest problem with this Don't believe the hype. While the story may be of interest to some, it is ultimately too cliche. That said, my biggest problem with this film were the visuals. Some of the effects are fine, but a majority are flat out bad. Consistency in the quality of effects would have made Kevin Thomas' quote about this being "one of the most beautiful films imaginable" valid. As it stands, this is not even close to Crouching Tiger, Hero, or Flying Daggers. Wait for video, if you must. Expand
  3. KaiY.
    Jan 4, 2006
    1
    Cheesy, tacky, corny and thoroughly unbelievable (even by fantasy standards). Tse's rant about how Cheung's theft of a bun from him Cheesy, tacky, corny and thoroughly unbelievable (even by fantasy standards). Tse's rant about how Cheung's theft of a bun from him set him down on the road of evil is the most laughably ridiculous piece of crap ever spouted on screen. Expand
  4. JamesS.
    Jun 28, 2007
    1
    Note that when it comes to Asian martial arts films, American critics tend to be more lenient because of its novelty, or the assumptions that Note that when it comes to Asian martial arts films, American critics tend to be more lenient because of its novelty, or the assumptions that the incoherent plot lines could be due to "lost in translation". So users should review the review and moderate it down a few grades to be objective. Especially so if you are familiar with this genre of film before it caught on with the west. Expand

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