Created on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 12:14
Written by Samantha See
Directed by Frankie Chan (Prodigal Son) and produced by Jackie Chan, periodic film Legendary Amazons stages the comeback of several screen sweethearts including Cecilia Cheung, Yukari Oshima and Cheng Pei-pei.
Based on the story of the famous Yang family from the Song dynasty, when the men of the clan were massacred in wartimes, the ladies – from the elderly 100-year-old matriarch She Taijun (Cheng Pei-pei) to the daughter-in-laws to the young sisters – took it upon themselves to defend their country despite an incompetent emperor and political chaos. In particular, a daughter-in-law Mu Guiying (Cecilia Cheung) is revered for her courage and loyalty in Chinese history. Ritchie Jen plays her soon-to-be slaughtered husband Yang Zongbao.
A visual feast it is, but with an extremely unconvincing plot including some laughable scenes (think human bridge). I understand if they led the troops with their wits, but it is sure struck me strange to see a bunch of ladies doing high difficulty level kungfu stunts, especially those choreographed by wushu coach Wu Bin who is also mentor to superstar Jet Li. I was not convinced, and judging by the guffaws from the rest of the audience, they weren't either. It will take much more even with the experienced cast which includes veteran actors such as Cheng Pei-pei and Yukari Oshima.
We would recommend this film for the star power or to see the ladies take the lead in an action film. But if you are looking for an epic historical war film, perhaps you will have better luck with older films.