Thursday, December 02, 2004

SEE: Ashes of Time (1994)

Ashes of Time is not your typical action-packed martial arts movie. Instead it's an exploration of the psyche of a group of melancholic swordsmen-for-hire out in the Chinese desert. Hence, this film suffers from inaction. They are all despondent lovelorn characters who once in a while wield their swords when it's called for then crawl back to their doldrums.

Anyway, I found this to be a messy film. Lots of characters with strange Chinese names - I couldn't understand who was who. The story was dull. Well, maybe the original story it's based on is interesting, but this film adaptation was quite boring. I don't get it, some people love this film.

Maybe if I watch it again, I might appreciate it but it was torture enough to sit through the first time. Nevertheless, as a Wong Kar-Wai fan I had to watch it. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I'm sure WKW intended to do his best but...

Also, the subtitles to this period martial arts flick were horrible. Lots of spelling mistakes.

WKW took a break from post-production of this film to make the sublime Chungking Express, which I already reviewed. One of the best films I've ever seen - an absolute masterpiece. Skip this one and see Chungking Express instead, which is worthy of many repeat viewings.

::2.5 stars::