Curse of the Golden Flower

[Amazon Link] [3.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

Or, as they say at IMDB: Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia. First I'll point out the obvious: this movie has lots of over-the-top visual spectacle, lovingly exploring every nook and cranny of the Forbidden City as it was back in the good old days of the tenth century AD. It's a tale of political intrigue, love, betrayal, violence, and flowers. The action is imaginatively choreographed. Flying ninja assassins appear out of nowhere at unexpected times, wreaking untold havoc.

(OK, I know they're not really ninjas. Ninjas are Japanese. Still, they look like superninjas.)

The bad news is that it's a pretty slim story on which to hang all this pageantry. The main characters are devious, surly, and otherwise unlikeable. There are long, nap-inviting, periods where not much happens onscreen except flashing glorious costumery, beauty, and stilted elliptical dialog.

There are some probably unintentionally funny moments. Watch for the cleanup crew bringing out the Emergency Backup Mums, like this sort of thing happened every day. Also the improvised mosh pit, as the golden soldiers chant "Catch! Catch! Catch!"

So: not great, not awful, not a bad way to spend an evening.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 12:44 PM EDT