Prior to its release, League of Gods《封神传奇》was anticipated to be the epic long-awaited fantasy movie of the year. The movie has a strong cast of actors and producing team to create marvelous eye-opening visual effects. However, it may have fell short of the public’s expectations.
Adapted from the classic plot of Chinese mythical story Investiture of the Gods, the movie narrates about the journey of the remaining heir 雷震子 Lei Zhen Zi (played by Xiang Zuo) in search of a long-lost sword 光明之劍 to defeat the rising darkness of King Zhou (played by Tony Leung) and Daji (played by Fan BingBing). This adventure was also shared with his companions 哪吒 Nezha (played by Wen Zhang) and 杨戬 YangJian (played by Huang XiaoMing) who fought alongside with Lei till the very end.
To enhance the plot, the movie was accompanied with a substantiated amount of special visual effects. One of the exciting selling-point was the mischievous CGI Little Nezha who used “farting” as a special weapon in fights. Visual effects managed to sculpt the character intriguingly and of course, adoringly.
However, I felt that the visual effects were too overwhelming and obscured the essence of the plot. The strong urge to present superpowers with advanced special effects seemed to have gotten too far. Most of the story settings were generated in post-production. In fact, it constantly kept me pondering about the significance of “revolutionizing” movie with much post-production works. Not surprisingly, viewers from around Asia have been voicing out same opinions too.
During the movie, I could not help but connect some of the elements to other Hollywood movies. For instance, the Fortress of Xiqi looked similar to Minas Tirith in Lord of the Rings trilogy. On the other hand, the eventual evolution of Shen Gong Bao (played by Loius Koo) into an infallible warrior appeared more like one in Warcraft (2016) instead. This may be a slight disappointment to fans who were ready to catch more of the cast’s actions in the film.
League of Gods is out in theatres from July 29.