Thursday, 1 October 2015

Legendary Amazons (2011)

"The Generals of the Yang Clan" are a series of Chinese stories about a family who served the Song Dynasty with unswerving loyalty and provided a succession of brilliant generals and fierce warriors in defence of the Emperor.  So dedicated were they that when the Yang men were all but wiped out by the machinations of their rivals, their widows raised a volunteer army and drove away the enemy instead.  That last element is the focus of this film.

Which makes it a great shame that this movie is dreadful.

The problems start early.  Rather than going to war to defend their country and maintain their clan's honour, the women in this film make their decision all about protecting the life of the last male heir.  Because even in a movie called Legendary Amazons, it's all about the menz.

Equally problematic are the film's action sequences.  Battle scenes comprise a very large percentage of the film's run time, and they are ... not good.  There's a stack of bad CGI and the costumes and weapons props look horribly plastic throughout.  Also while I thought I was used to the implausibly orchestrated battle tactics common in Chinese film, this movie turns the volume up to 11 on that front.  When your climactic battle scene features warriors fighting on pogo sticks, and you aren't the 1960s Batman TV show, something has gone horribly wrong.

Alas, "something has gone horribly wrong" pretty much sums up this whole film.

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