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A royal official accompanies a Portuguese warship to the Black Cliffs to see the site of the defeat of the evil Invincible Asia, who attained supernatural abilities by following the sacred scroll and castrating himself. The official discovers that the Portuguese are actually after the sacred scroll, and then finds Invincible Asia him/herself, who is not actually dead. Invincible Asia seeks to destroy all the imposters or 'false Invincible Asias' who have assumed his/her place leading cults, whilst the Portuguese, a mysterious Japanese warlord and others search for Invincible Asia and the Sacred Scroll. Written by
Brian Rawnsley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I like everyone connected with this movie, cast and crew - but I don't like the movie.
It's not that I can't follow the plot. The problem is that the whole story is symbolic fantasy - or what they called in the Middle ages 'allegory' (i.e., an allegory for the loss of Chinese inner power with the arrival of foreign colonialists). They only recent film that comes close to this in structure is from Japan, Toyko: the Last Metropolis. The most recent western film to approach this kind of story is, possibly, Terry Gilliam's ill-conceived Baron Munchhausen movie. But I liked the characters in those two movies; I don't like any of the characters in this one. Which may be the point, but not any reason to watch the movie again.
I should remark that these three movies are all extremely well-made, and all dishwater dull.
I'm afraid film is not a medium conducive to allegory. Film seems to work best when the characters remind us of people we've met - or are likely to meet - even if we don't like them much. When actors stand in for metaphors, they can't stand in for people. In which case, why should we care?
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