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Wu Yen (2001)

  Directed by: Johnny To, Ka-Fai Wai
Written by: Ka-Fai Wai, Ben Wong, Nai-Hoi Yau
Starring: Sammi Cheng, Cecilia Cheung, Wong Chun, Suet Lam, Anita Mui
Links: Wu Yen on the IMDb
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 9.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Wu Yen (2001) is also mentioned in timchuma's review of Flying Dagger (1993).

"A Chinese Pantomime Story" - a review by timchuma

The story starts with a shadow puppet play showing the legend of a Fairy Enchantress who is imprisoned in a rock by a wizard. Along comes Emperor Qi on a hunting expedition, who unwittingly sets the Enchantress free, which unleashes a love triangle.

Next we cut to a live action version of the scene, although it is not what you would expect. The leading roles in this movies (Emperor Qi, The Fairy Enchantress) are played by women, which makes for some funny situations.

Qi is being followed by his entourage which includes the Prime Minister, a historian, and the General. He comes across a sword chained to a rock and goes to pull it out, but he is ambushed by Wu Yen's clan who try to stop him pulling out the sword, and in doing so, actually manage to pull out the sword by mistake.

Once she is free, the Fairy Enchantress casts a Love Spell on Wu Yen and will only agree to lift it if she marries him. On seeing the effect of the spell, Qi rejects Wu Yen for being 'ugly', even though he was just about to marry her.

On the way back to the palace, Emperor Qi finds the Fairy Enchantress in human female form and agrees to marry her. However, Wu Yen objects and tries to fight him.

Back at the palace, the Fairy Enchantress is attacked by Ancestor Huan (the Great (×5) Grandfather of the current Emperor), who is trying to protect his dynasty. However, the attack backfires, as he is only a fairy in training.

Wu Yen turns up at the palace, but she ends up down a well and then in jail after appearing to kill Emperor Qi's new lover.

When an envoy turns up from the Yen provence, with a warrior carrying the 'Heaven Sword', which cuts other swords in two, Emperor Qi seeks Wu Yen's help. She defeats the warrior easily, but the Fairy Enchantress insults the envoy and he declares war on Qi's kingdom. At the Emperor's request, Wu Yen leads the troops into battle...

Probably the closest thing I can compare this to is a pantomime, where everyone overacts and there are gender bender characters. There are many funny scenes, but it doesn't have many fight scenes (the shadow puppets are used to good effect however).

I would recommend this movie to people who like light comedy / romance films.

timchuma gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 3 Mar 2005

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Reader comments

  1. TIM = THE DOWNFALL OF NO FREE LIST.

    A comment from FINN on Sat 05 Mar 2005 11:40 #

  2. I Agree@!!

    A comment from omg on Mon 07 Mar 2005 20:09 #

  3. again what is with this guy ! learn to write a review if your going to post them

    A comment from ABBY on Sun 13 Mar 2005 23:13 #


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