Sunday, January 15, 2006

Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983)

What's all this nonsense about Tsui Hark self-destructing into incoherence post-Van Damme? This, one of his most celebrated films, is just as senseless and just as exciting as Time and Tide. You don't watch Hark for the plot -- you watch for the frenetic action and the dollops of whacked-out inventiveness, both of which this film has in excess. There's probably a pro-Communist subtext here (it's about individuality vs. working together and the need to sometimes subsume individual desires to further the greater good), but it's easily overlooked in favor of the film's delirious visuals. Visuals like the guy who uses his eyebrows as weapons. Or the guy who has tied himself up with giant chains so that he can maintain his guardpost at the twin entrances of Heaven and Hell. Or the giant blood-blob monster. Or the clash between multicolored armies that opens the film. Who cares if it doesn't make much sense -- it's a whole lotta fun.

Grade: B+


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