The ingenuity and heart from the heydays of the wuxia or period movies are long gone and even the famed directors from that era have taken to substituting special effects and intricate fighting for good storytelling. I still watch them because it’s the equivalent of a popcorn flick, but I do miss the days when such flicks could actually be memorable and engaging beyond the brief flash of excitement. One of my fave Hong Kong directors has long been Tsui Hark, and I can’t even list on one page his movies that I’ve loved because there are so many. For 10 years from 1986 with A Better Tomorrow he went through a decade until 1996 churning out sheer awesome. A Chinese Ghost Story, Once Upon a Time in China, The Killer, The Chinese Feast and more, he kinda started to coast on his name brand and has never recaptured that perfect blend of quality storytelling with fantastically creative directing since then. Recently he had a monster hit with Detective Dee: The Mystery of the Phantom Flame set in a fantasy era Tang dynasty with Andy Lau as the titular Detective Dee and Carina Lau as Empress Wu Zhe Tian. I figured he would do a sequel, but then he surprised me by doing a prequel with a group of young and rising actors. Starring Mark Chao as the young Detective Dee, the prequel is a sea monster tale called Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon. Mark gets to play the three musketeers with Feng Shao Feng as a no-nonsense court investigator and Lin Geng Xin as a medicinal man. Angelababy plays the central femme fatale that brings all the boys to the yard, though its her love line with Kim Bum‘s young scholar from a fallen family that sets the central mystery in motion. I don’t know if an actual sea monster makes an appearance but it sure seems like it from the just released movie trailer (the first trailer was a teaser that didn’t show any of the cast members). Carina Lau makes a return appearance playing Empress Wu, though it’s been two years since she made the first movie this time she’s reverse aging for this role. I don’t need anything deep or complicated, I just want fun and entertaining. Let’s hope the bromance that happened off screen between Lin Geng Xin and Mark Chao make it onscreen, and the fact that Feng Shao Feng carries all the heavy duty martial arts fight scenes is something worth checking out. I posted the first teaser posters earlier but now here comes the official movie and character posters.
Trailer for Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon:
Oh wow!!! Kim Bum!!!
haha, I just wrote about Mark and Lin Geng Xin’s bromantic appearance in Happy Camp on my blog. It was so delightful to watch those two interact, even if Lin Geng Xin decided to wear that abomination made of the carnage of a thousand rainbows.
I’d be curious to know how Angelababy picked her “not-real” name – sounds like a perfect way to have me laugh whenever my eyes read it. On shooting set do the cast and crew call her “Angie” or “babe” instead?
If I remember correctly, “Angela” is her English name, and “Baby” is a family nickname for her. News reporters usually refer to her as “Baby” or by her Chinese name, so cast and crew members probably do the same.
Looks pretty awesome but have to see the actual movie to confirm whether it’s really good. Very often lately trailers are good but the movie itself puts me to sleep. Looking forward to Kim Bum first Chinese movie.
…so excited about seeing another Det. Dee Mystery movie.
And, wuxia and popcorn really do go together….
why is Kim Bum is quoted as Ian Kim? Is Ian is his english name?
No, they just made a random mistake. Kim Bum has a bunch of fans in Los Angeles, California and Boston. They just call him Kim Bum or Bummie.
I doubt that he has an English name. American fans and everyone else around the world prefer his real name better. Besides, the name Ian sounds weird, but Kim Bum sounds catchy and simple so it is easy to remember.
No, no, NO, Koala.
Jomobaby brings all the boys to the yard.
Ah, Kim Bum – what’s with the pink lipstick?! That better be from kissing someone and not from the makeup department. (Must be some conspiracy to girly up his fine looks. He is the only one sporting it in the trailer!)