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Not funny enough to be a comedy and not serious enough to be a drama.
I found this Chinese film to be quite strange and random. Perhaps I was missing something in the translation. Perhaps I would have gotten more out of the movie had I been Chinese...who knows. All I know is that I often found myself confused by the film and didn't particularly enjoy it.
The story is about a judge (Andy Lau) who is bored since his portion of China has no crime to speak of. He's frustrated with nothing to do and is encouraged to take a vacation to some other part of the kingdom. There, he meets some strange folks (including a lady who sports a van dyke beard--and I have no idea why). Eventually, he learns of a conspiracy in the imperial court and returns to all sorts of strange nonsense and machinations.
Sprinkled throughout are some funny tiny bits--but the film never really is a comedy--but it's too surreal and stupid to be a good drama. There were also some anachronisms--and I wonder if they actually were in the film originally (perhaps the subtitles were NOT what actually was said--such as a mention of HIV--yet it's imperial China!). All in all, the martial arts weren't even that good. Overall, not a lot to recommend this one.
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