A big budget blow-out for China’s film industry. Wu ji (2005) also goes under the title of The Promise and according to the Internet Movie DataBase,
This is the most expensive film in Chinese history with a budget of 282,572,490 Yuan ($35 Million). I bought a DVD of it when I was in Kunming for about 10 or 15 Yuan ($2.44 in Aussie dollars), along with a decent version of the last Jet Li kung fu movie. Do I feel ripped off?
No, not really. But at the same time I’m not raving about it like other awesome DVDs I have acquired. Don’t be sucked in by the great trailer, the script is total shite and as Strider-100 from Gnome, Alaska put it,
some scenes and dialog which were absolutely stupid. If you have a thing for costumes or fantasy then you’ll love this film, (Curse of the Golden Flower got a few nominations and awards for costume) otherwise…
Despite the millions of chrysanthemum flowers, ten thousand soldiers and three prominent male cast (Chow Yun Fatt, Jay Chou and Liu Ye), one thing will capture your attention. Make that two.
Gong Li and her titillating assets have almost overshadowed everything else in the movie. While it may not be historically accurate for 10th Century Tang Dynasty palace females to dress so scantily, director Zhang Yimou obviously wants to make a stylistic statement right from the opening scene.
While the film obviously banks on Gong Li’s bosoms, they shouldn’t distract audience from her exceptional acting. It may be over-the-top at times, but she shows that nobody else can play this vengeful and solitary empress better than her. At this moment, she is the queen of the Chinese cinema.