In the past week, Daniel Lee’s much anticipated Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon had been heavily promoted by its all-star cast including the likes of Andy Lau Tak Wah, Sammo Hung, Maggie Q and even pop singer Vanness Wu. Helmed by such big names, it was expected to be given an equally grand response by critics and fans alike. Unfortunately, even the film’s star quality failed to impress many viewers, and that includes Lau’s own fans.
Critics slammed Three Kingdoms as being “lacklustre”, “aesthetically beautiful but astonishingly shallow” and containing fight scenes that were described as “confusing, blurry and stale” to “hilarious exaggeration of fast and slow motions”. Fans of the Three Kingdoms novels were outraged and had a field day tearing the film’s inaccuracies to pieces, while Lau’s fans felt disappointed that his “regal and brilliant acting” was squashed by a poorly written script that was both boring and heavily lacking in character story. Critics who were given special viewing before Three Kingdom’s day of release gave mixed responses, however, the majority delcared the film was a “hastily and poorly pieced together epic-wannabe that relied on its star power but failed”.
There was also mention of Maggie Q’s out of place pan-Asian appearance in an ancient Chinese pic and her noticeable synching of Mandarin lines while an alien voice patches over. Even her Hollywood status was not enough to impress the audience, with one citing her to be akin to a “mannequin” who often “liked to hiss and squint throughout” the film and lacked the required cunningness and brilliance of Cao Cao, her character’s grandfather. A Maggie Q fan mentioned she was “a definate pleasure to the eyes”, while another disappointed viewer claimed that was “all she had to offer” as her portrayal of a vicious general vixen was “nothing more than the same cold expression she always has” reminiscent of her acting in Die Hard 4.0 and Mission Impossible 3. The sexy actress was, however, given a nod in the right direction for her well executed action sequences.
It seems despite boasts of thousands of extras used to replicate the drama and glory of epic battle scenes, Three Kingdoms is all beauty and no substance