Film Review: ‘Kingdom’

  • Variety
A dose of 21st century attitude mixes nicely with other winning ingredients in “Kingdom,” a thoroughly entertaining adaptation of Yasuhisa Hara’s hugely popular manga set in China, 245 B.C. Centered on two orphan boys who dream of becoming “the greatest generals on Earth,” this Japanese take on a Chinese wuxia is overwrought at times and too simply plotted at others, but wins through with colorful characters, top-class swordplay and snappy dialogue that’ll especially connect with younger viewers. Energetically directed and co-written by manga-to-screen specialist Shinsuke Sato, “Kingdom” grossed a whopping $50 million in local cinemas earlier this year and ought to perform strongly in limited North American release from August 16.

Taking its thematic cues from literary classics including “The Prince and the Pauper,” and adopting the high-spirited story-telling of action-adventures such as Akira Kurosawa’s “The Hidden Fortress,” “Kingdom” refreshes a familiar tale of heroes emerging from poverty to
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