7

When I saw it:
between 2009 and 2011

Where I saw it:
Russian TV

I was staying at a hotel in Russia, and saw what I believe to be a Chinese fantasy movie (but I can't confirm the actual country of production, nor the original language). The production quality and special effects seemed fairly advanced, so I suspect it was a "recent" release (mid 2000s).

The visual "feel" of the movie stuck with me for a long time.
The movie was live action, but heavily stylised. The colours, set designs, costumes, etc. gave it a fairy-tale kind of vibe.
It was set in medieval Asia, with typical Asian castles, armour, weapons, etc. like you might see in a MMORPG.
There was a decent amount of magic and fantasy creatures involved, though I'm foggy on the details.
Most of the action / fighting was a mix of martial arts (with and without weapons) and sorcery. I feel like there was a lot of shapeshifting / turning into animals, black mist, etc.
I distinctly remember a lot of characters "flying" or performing incredible jumps, but I can't say if it was a constant feature, or just one scene.

I remember 3 main characters, but please don't ask for any names lol:

  1. The hero
  2. The princess
  3. The evil general

I feel like there might have been a prominent lackey of the bad guy as well (some kind of witch?). But pretty much the number of named, plot-driving characters was very low, maybe no more than 5. I want to say that the evil general was the hero's mentor (?) at the start, but turned evil after the prologue.
The story may have had an element of redemption.
There was some curse/oath/prophecy that needed dealing with to end the conflict. The final battle took place in the bad guys' castle/palace, though I can't say if it was a siege or infiltration.
Although there was likely a large-scale battle (or devastated battlefield) at the very start that established the plot.
I feel like the princess was somehow central to the curse/oath/prophecy. In any case, she wasn't a passive damsel character.

At the moment I can't recall any more specific information. The most vivid imagery is of the stylised look of the movie and the flowy, jump-prone fighting/magic.

EDIT:
After thinking about it, I'm not sure if the bad guy was the mentor or killed the mentor character. Anyway, the "loss" of a mentor figure seemed to have been an element.
I'm also remembering something about a bird, or feathers, or wings?
Also the colour pink. Plum/cherry petals?

3
  • 1
    Well with the flying people and the lackey witch I have to ask: you’re sure it isn’t Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon? Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 13:38
  • 1
    Many Chinese "movie"/TV series/drama I used to see back then included the usual trope of fights involving more flying around than actual fights, and princess, and an evil guy of some kind. So it might not be a movie but also some TV show of some kind.
    – Clockwork
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 16:02
  • @TenthJustice man, I wish it was that easy... but it's already answered :)
    – MetAlien
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 11:26

1 Answer 1

8

This is Wu ji, also known as The Promise (2005).

From Wikipedia:

The Promise is a 2005 Chinese epic fantasy film directed by Chen Kaige, starring Jang Dong-gun, Hiroyuki Sanada, Cecilia Cheung, and Nicholas Tse. It is loosely adapted from The Kunlun Slave, a wuxia romance story written by Pei Xing in the ninth century during the Tang dynasty. Responses to the film were mainly mixed to negative.

The plot centres around Qingcheng (played by Cecilia Cheung). Once a starving orphan, she accepted a blessing/curse from a goddess named Manshen, which turned her into a beautiful princess, at the cost of her being forever denied true love. She wears a white, feathered gown in some scenes.

The main hero is Kunlun (played by Jang Dong-gun). He was originally from a magical realm, and can run at great speed and leap so far that he appears to be flying in some scenes. He has a master, General Guangming (played by Hiroyuki Sanada), who is killed by the main villain near the end of the film.

The main villain is a duke named Wuhuan (played by Nicholas Tse). His foremost henchman is Snow Wolf (played by Liu Ye), who was originally from the same realm as Kunlun, and possesses similar abilities.

1
  • 1
    Thank you! Your description rang some bells, but I had to look up the final fight scene on YT to be sure. The trailer by itself didn't convince me, somehow... I hadn't a single clue which keywords to use in a search engine, with the little info I remembered.
    – MetAlien
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 11:24

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