5.4/10
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6 user 22 critic

The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom (2014)

Bai fa mo nu zhuan zhi ming yue tian guo (original title)
Not Rated | | Fantasy | 25 April 2014 (China)
Story of two lovers, the White-Haired Witch and Taoist leader Zhuo Yihang and their love that could change the fate of the nation.
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Bingbing Fan ... Lian Nishang
Xiaoming Huang ... Zhuo Yihang
Wenzhuo Zhao ... Jin Duyi
Xuebing Wang ... Murong Chong
Shera Li Shera Li ... Coral (as Li Xinru)
Dahong Ni ... Wei Zhongxian
Chenghui Yu Chenghui Yu ... (as Cheng-Hui Yu)
Xiangdong Xu Xiangdong Xu ... Elder Baishi (as Xiang Dong Xu)
Rongsheng Xiao Rongsheng Xiao
Cecilia Yip ... Ling Muhua (Nishang's teacher)
Yao Tong ... Ting (Wei Zhongxian's daughter)
Yikuan Yan ... Hong Taiji
Jian Xue Jian Xue
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Storyline

In the twilight of the Ming Dynasty, the Imperial court is plagued by corruption as tyrants rule over the land. With the Manchurians preying on a weakened empire, war is imminent. To save the victims from their suffering, sorceress Jade Raksha fights the soldiers that oppress people for their own gain. As payback, local government officials decide to pin the murder of Governor Zhuo Zhonglian on Jade, turning her and the members of her cult into wanted fugitives for a crime they didn't commit. Written by Jiilo_Kim

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Includes a post-credit scene, mildly hinting at a sequel - which is not related to the 2015 piece The White-Haired Girl, a popular musical with a very different story. See more »

Connections

Version of The White-haired Girl (1950) See more »

User Reviews

 
An uninspiring adaptation of a classic which is bogged down by the lack of chemistry between its leads
1 August 2014 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

Hong Kong movie director, producer and screenwriter Jacob Cheung probably does not believe in churning out productions like a factory line, considering his sparse filmography. However, whenever the 54 year old filmmaker directs a movie, it is something we'd enjoy. His credits include A Battle of Wits (2006), which was nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Golden Bauhinia Awards and Beyond the Sunset (1989), which was a nominee at the 9th Hong Kong Film Awards. Of course, there is the much loved Cageman (1992), which showcased the director's ability to translate human relationships and emotions on the big screen. Cheung's last work was Ticket in 2007, and seven years later, we were very much looking forward to his latest work.

But alas, what a letdown and regrettably, a laughable piece of CGIladen movie it is. Maybe this comes with the fact that it is yet another remake of adaptation of Liang Yusheng's classic fantasy novel The Story Of The White Haired Demoness (1957), about a star-crossed love story between a witch-like woman and martial arts expert Zhuo Yihang.

The version we are all familiar with is Ronny Yu's 1993 movie The Bride With White Hair, starring Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia and the late Leslie Cheung, which is widely considered a classic of the genre. Here, it is an ironically too messy and overstuffed piece of work that lost our interest 30 minutes or so into the movie.

For the uninitiated, the 104 minute movie tells the story of a witch- like woman known as the Jade Raksha (Fan Bingbing) who becomes a wanted criminal after getting framed for the murder of a prominent government official. At the same time, a young man known as Zhuo Yihang (Huang Xiaoming) is framed for the murder of the emperor. The two fugitives meet by chance and fall in love, but when Jade Raksha becomes a prime suspect who is responsible for the murder of Yihang's beloved grandfather, can there still be a happy ending?

There are countless scenes boasting expensive CGIeffects, but they are not excuses for the evident lack of chemistry between leads, who despite putting in lots of effort to emote individually, just do not manage to stir any emotions with their supposedly tragic romantic relationship. This is an obvious case of how the industry hopes to bank in on the stars' commanding power in Mainland Chinato earn some quick bucks.

It doesn't help that there are several complex palace intrigue and politicking side plots which serve nothing but confuse and dilute the interest levels of viewers. Nope, thefootnotes of character names and relationships superimposed on the side of the screendo not help.The uninspiring screenplay includes the intriguing sub-plot of apolitical marriage of convenience between the male protagonist and the beautiful daughter of a scheming eunuch, amidst other uninteresting story lines. They are jam packed into one movie here, and bythe time the moviereturns to the romantic couple, we can't be bothered to find out about their fate. Even playing Leslie Cheung's heartfelt end credit song doesn't help anymore.


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Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

25 April 2014 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bruxa do Cabelo Branco do Reino Lunar See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$62,515,046
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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