Epic production about the first Emperor of China is one of the best looking films ever made. Its also a bit too talky and soapy for its own good.
Shintaro Katsu, best known for playing Zatoichi, plays the first Chinese Emperor, Qin. This is essentially the story of Qin from the founding of "China" by his unifying the various provinces, through the building of the great wall on to close to his death. Its a huge epic production thats been compared to western films like Ten Commandments, Lawrence of Arabia, and Ben Hur. This a film on a scale that they simply don't do any more.
As a epic films go this is one of the most beautiful. Its amazing to look at. The sense of scale and place has been rarely matched. The battle scenes are wonderful and on a scale that few films have ever matched. This is a movie where every person on the screen is a person and you can feel the realness. As an epic spectacle this film is one of the best.
Unfortunately when the spectacle subsides the plot takes over and while its not bad it is rather talky and soapy. Its not bad, but it seems out of place in an epic like this and somehow makes the characters less then the epic size the need to be to inhabit this story. It makes what should have been one of the great films of the world, simply one of the best looking run of the mill ones.
If you can secure yourself a copy do make an effort to see this (on a big screen, TV or theater, its a must.)
(FYI- The full running time of this film is 161 minutes)
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