Managed to watch Jackie Chan's new Movie "The Myth" (神話) this afternoon. I'm usually not a big fan of Jackie Chan films but my friends decided to watch so i tagged along anyway. Wasn't exactly a great movie but since it had certain aspects that i pretty much liked, i decided to run a review on it anyway. This new JC film is directed by internationally-reknowned Hong Kong director Stanley Tong （唐季禮). Great cinematography by the art director. Especially the decapitating scene. Editing and transition of scenes are good. Most notably between the modern day parts and the parts from Qin dynasty. You don't get the feeling of watching two separate films. Good use of background music, notably in the fight scenes. Jackie's fight scenes in ancient Qin were extremely heroic and dramatic. OST was nice. More about the OST a bit later in this article. CG animation of Emperor Qin(秦始皇)'s levitating mausoluem is crude and a bit off today's industry standard. Jackie Chan pretty much keeps his standards in his fight stunts this time but stunning performance by Korean actress Kim Hee Seon and Tony Leung Ka Fai. I love Chinese history and i must give credit to Jackie Chan and Stanley Tong for making a fictatious account but still sticking to pretty much of the original historical plot based on decpiction of the Qin dynasty by the first true Chinese historian Ssu Ma Chien(司馬仟).
Jackie Chan plays the part of Jack and General Meng Yi（蒙毅）. Jack is portrayed as an Indiana Jones styled adventurer that helps his friend, William with science research. Jack also has dreams about General Meng Yi, a general from the Qin dynasty in ancient China during the reign of China's first emperor Qin Shi Quang Di, and Ok Soo, a concubine of the Emperor. She is portrayed by reknowned Korean actress Kim Hee Seon.
In actual history, General Meng Yi was sentenced to death by the evil imperial eunuch Zhao Gao (趙高) as the general was accused for treason and did not die in battle as portrayed in the movie. General Meng Yi was a reputable general and a faithful supporter of Fusu(扶蘇), the first son of Qin Shi Huang(秦始皇). Zhao Gao supported Hu Hai(胡亥), the Emperor's second son and therefore conspired with Li Si (李斯), the Imperial Secreteriat to falsify the Emperor's will and Fusu to commit suicide and stripped the command of troops from General Meng Tian (蒙恬）, brother of General Meng Yi. Zhao Gao hated the Meng brothers and using the hands of Hu Hai, now the Second Emperor, he forced Meng Tian to commit suicide and killed Meng Yi. Also, the potion of immortality was never actually created. This is the period of Chinese history that is most extensively researched by Chinese Historians. Do read more about the history of the Qin Dynasty and Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di here (Chinese only) and check out the page about Qin on Wikipedia.
我覺得秦代歷史係中國歷史最值得研究的一部份. 因為秦始皇對中國日後既文化有深遠影響. 秦始皇統一六國,推出新既中國文字 - (出自李斯的小篆), 為以後中國既發展奠定基礎. 加上秦始皇又建造宏偉的兵馬俑, 秦皇陵, 阿房宮以及萬里長城, 實在係中國歷史上前無古人,后冇來者。。
Notably, i would like to mention that most of the parts in the movie was based on actual history. Emperor Qin Shi Huang did create his own grand mausoluem, although probably not floating. Nonetheless, many scholars have heralded it as "The Eighth Wonder of The Ancient World". The Emperor began building his tomb at the age of 13 immediately after his coronation. However, the tomb was never excavated due to the lack of funds and technology of preserving the tomb by the Chinese officials. Other scholars view this as an excuse to cover up the fact that Emperor Qin's tomb was looted years ago by grave robbers. The giant crossbows and arrows used as defense system in the mausoluem and the rivers of mercury in which William died was also depicted by the historian Ssu Ma Chien. General Meng Yi's sword and armour were based on those of a Terracota Army General. The horse carriages in the mausoluem were even based on archaological findings in Xian, China near the Emperor's true mausoluem. Below is a picture of the actual bronze carriages (銅車馬) they excavated in 1975. See the resemblance to the animated props in the movie?
Movie plot is imaginative and original even though based on actual history. I've seen many film directors and Chinese novel writers use the same piece of history for their plots but I've never seen it presented this way. What I didn't like was probably some of the CG effects that were being used, for instance the mausoluem. Also I think its a bit hard to understand the plot if you don't know about the historical side of the story. I've heard people say that you have to either be a Chinese or be a scholar in Chinese History to fully understand the movie. People who don't have a certain knowledge about Chinese culture and history would probably find it confusing about certain parts in the movie. Also, it might also feel wierd for Jackie Chan to star in films with a romantic plot. Verdict? Good and decent film overall, but several factors might undermine it. Otherwise, it could be a PERFECT film. Could be better.
You can also visit "The Myth"s official site here for latest news, see photos, and watch a trailer from the film.
The beautiful theme song from the movie is called Endless Love and is sung in Chinese and Korean by Jackie and Kim. You can view the music video here and download it here.
Best part of the movie is probably the themesong. WARNING!! The theme song is a HIGHLY ADDICTIVE but *ahem* sorta chessy track. One of the better cheese that I've encountered in recent times. Heck, i just downloaded it from Jackie's official site here and i've been listening to the track ever since! This track is a duet sang in both Chinese and Korean by Jackie Chan & Kim Hee Seon, the lead actress in the movie. Nevermind the vocals by Jackie Chan, they're not really good(Jackie can't sing really well) but lyrics are really meaningful and relevant to the movie. Both the melody and harmony is just so beautiful!! Next thingy is probably try to find the track's piano score. Either that, or I'll have to write my own arrangement for the track since the melody is pretty simply and straightforward. Nice of you Jackie to have provided FREE downloads of the OST!! Thank you!! 多謝多謝!! =) Damn I'm definately buying the OST and probably even the DVD for the movie!!
Download the OST for the movie "Endless Love" here:
Jackie Chan & Kim Hee Seon - Endless Love