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Qi jian (2005)
Film tried to be artistic but came out illogical and boring
If the action scenes were removed, this film would have been painfully boring.
With the film reaching a very long and tedious 2 hours and 20 plus minutes, I expected the movie to be at least logical. However, some scenes outright stupid or ludicrous. For example, why would someone even pay for the heads of children and women when the imperial edict was to ban martial arts? So the bandits just attack helpless villagers and get paid? Then there was a scene when the leader said to free the horses so the villagers can escape. Why would do that? Then when the two swordsmen freed the horses, one horse named Rifle, was following them. The two swordsmen had to hurry and hide from Rifle. But after they can't see the horse anymore, one of the swordsmen hurriedly and repeatedly shouted out the horse's name, presumably to say goodbye. Stupid. I thought they were trying to hide awhile ago from that same horse? How about when Green Pearl and the other swordsman decided to go to the general's fortress to loot its gold? How could the two quickly get out of the cave when the whole place is under siege with cannons and the general's army is all over the place? Then the two was immediately back in the general's fortress. Then, surprisingly, the general is back in his fortress with his army and cannons no less to surprise the Green Pearl and her companion swordsman. That was some fast transportation back then, eh? Maybe I fell asleep watching this overly long movie so I missed the explanations for the above scenes. Given that if you take out the action scenes, the film would be boring, I would not be surprised to fall asleep in the first place.
The cinematography is OK, although the viewer can see the obvious camera filters effects that were used. In many scenes, the "afternoon effect filter" was so obvious that even plants had the orangy/afternoon lighting on top and normal color on the bottom.
Over all, the film is mediocre and trying to be "artistic" but came out flat, illogical, and boring. The action scenes were entertaining and bound to wake up the viewer. The rest of the film is bound to make the viewer fall asleep.