Just saw this film at a cinema near to my home. I rated it very high because it is the first film in the last three years which can tell a story so smoothly.
After the first Hollywood movie The Fugitive (lead actor Harrison Ford) was admitted in my country, the Chinese films changed forever by the affections of Hollywood movies. But the Chinese film makers did not know how to tell a story in the Hollywood way. Especially the film makers wanted to make BIG movie (the movie making cost high) to gain the high profit in the market, but in the same time they seemed like they forget how to tell a good story. But Chinese audience is very tolerable, they watch they comment and they despise. After all these years' BIG films' bombing, I watched a good story telling film, why should I not be satisfied?
Discussing this film in the technique way is not the important thing. All this years the BIG films all packed by the advanced techniques, but no story.
Somebody (maybe a lot of foreign people) may want to watch more KongFu in Chinese films. But what I want to say is KongFu is not the only part of Chinese Culture, in fact it never was the major part of Chinese Culture in the past three thousand years. I can say it because I know our country and her history.
The relationship and interaction of characters is the major part of film. This film is based on a novel Thunder Storm by Chao Yu in 40s of 20th century, and the background is changed to about 9th century. For the solid story by Chao Yu, the film is brilliant. And the success of this film is also a victory of Chinese writers. It proved that the real good novel can live all the time.