The Promise (Master of Crimson Armor) (Wu ji)
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The Promise (Master of Crimson Armor) (Wu ji)
Love and war conspire to create a romantic triangle in this lavish historical epic from director Chen Kaige. A young girl who has lost her parents to the violence of war bravely refuses to obey the orders of a warrior's son, and is approached by a spirit who offers her a life of wealth and power as a reward, but with a catch -- she will never know the love of a man unless she learns how to bring the dead back to life by turning back time. Two decades later, the orphaned girl has become Qingcheng (Cecilia Cheung), the adopted daughter of The King (Cheng Qian), and her nation is yet again in… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Has been criticized by some reviewers for its low-tech special effects. Curiously, I found this technical transparency part of the film's enormous charm."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"With The Promise Chen Kaige has proven enough of a professional that he can make the product. But he remains too much of an artist not to scribble on his signature."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"More risible than poetic"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Medieval Chinese legend, along with myths of the new market economy."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Web Radio
"Beautiful but slight."
‑ John Wirt, Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
"Chen Kaige clearly intended this Chinese fantasy-action spectacle to top Zhang Yimou's Hero, and I must admit that I prefer it to the earlier movie."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Chen's strength seems to be more with character-driven stories; here's hoping that his next film returns to more comfortable ground."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"The Promise is an over-wrought and laughably goofy film, an empty and pale imitation of the far better films that have gone on before it."
‑ Brandon Fibbs,
"A queer camp classic."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"An epic fantasy that tries to outdo Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but doesn't touch us emotionally."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The Promise is too full of frenetic disconnection and arbitrary comings and goings to connect meaningfully with the hearts and minds of its audience."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Laden with a plot that could generously be called silly or, less forgivingly, stupid, it never achieves lift-off despite numerous scenes of warriors doing battle in midair."
‑ Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle
"Faustian bargain with a goddess. Huge armies march. Men out-race the wind. Assassins make devious plots. Spectacular scenes generated largely in computers."
‑ Mark R. Leeper,
"A fairy tale for adults that allows the viewer to inhabit an entirely different world, and in doing so, becomes an exercise of the imagination."
‑ Lisa Ann Cockrel, Christianity Today
"Chen Kaige may seriously think he's creating film art in his empty Promise, but he's best at slinging bull, lots of them."
‑ Thomas Delapa, Boulder Weekly
More reviews for The Promise (Master of Crimson Armor) (Wu ji) on Rotten Tomatoes