Creation of the Gods Ⅰ: Kingdom of Storms (2023) poster
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 622 users
# of Watchers: 1,739
Reviews: 10 users
Ranked #2150
Popularity #6075
Watchers 622

After conspiring with a conniving fox demon to kill the emperor and seize power, King Zhou reigns as a tyrant so brutal that he incurs the wrath of Heaven. In a final attempt to save the mortal world from desperate peril, the gods decide to intervene and invest in an unlikely champion brave enough to challenge the evil king—even if it may cost him everything. (Source: WellGoUSA) ~~ Adapted loosely from the novel "The Investiture of God". Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: China
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Jul 20, 2023
  • Duration: 2 hr. 28 min.
  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 622 users)
  • Ranked: #2150
  • Popularity: #6075
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch Creation of the Gods Ⅰ: Kingdom of Storms

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Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
PeachBlossomGoddess
17 people found this review helpful
Oct 10, 2023
Completed 4
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 8.5

Sons of a tyrant.

Wuershan's Creation of Gods trilogy is the culmination of an eight year labor of love that is the most ambitious and grand scale adaptation of Chinese classic Investiture of Gods ever. This Homeric, often chaotic tale of gods, demons and men that blends speculative history with myth and legend is probably the most widely adapted ancient Chinese vernacular novel. This grandiouse, exhilarating, action packed, and painstakingly crafted production is a visual triumph and an immersive adventure that is best experienced on an IMAX screen.

Kingdom of Storms is the first instalment that focuses on the origin story of the King Zhou of Shang and how he incurred the wrath of the heavens to the extent the gods intervened. In a departure from canon, this adaptation does not lay the moral decay of King Zhou solely at the door of the hedonistic, fox jezebel Su Daji. This version holds King Zhou accountable, clearly asserting that his ambition and moral flexibility already put him on the dark path from the get go. This is a more layered and manipulative King Zhou, who adopts all of his noble hostages including Ji Fa as foster "sons". He ruthlessly indoctrinates his own son Yin Jiao as well as his hostage sons into choosing to be sons of a tyrant over their own fathers. All of the sons are pushed to decide whose son they really are and what kind of man they wish to become. This recurring theme of conflict between father and son and right and wrong adroitly weaves most of the sub-plots together.

Kris Phillips with his magnificent build and his imposing, quietly menacing , almost mesmeric screen aura is impeccably cast as King Zhou. He so much looks and breathes the part that it is easy to ignore his at times bizarre Mandarin and the occasionally stiff acting. Although the stunningly gorgeous Naran is bewitching as Daji, the role lacks complexity. She doesn't get to do much more than alternate between a sensuous seductress and a cunning and feral animal spirit when cornered. This debouched couple lights up the screen with their dark chemistry but I could have done with a bit less of their wanton cavorting that comes off as too unsubtle Hollywood. Beyond their honed physiques and stunning atheleticism, both Yu Shi's Ji Fa and Chen Muchi's Yin Jiao won my heart with their brotherhood and their portrayal of initially bewildered and disillusioned sons who grow up to become fearless and resolved men. They stand out among the dazzling number of up and coming young actors who managed to make an impression in this whirlwind production as does Ci Sha's not so hot headed Yang Jian. The deities don't feature as prominently in this first chapter but I much enjoyed this first glimpse of the diabolically mischevious Nezha.

For those unfamiliar with the chaotic original works, the storytelling may seem cluttered with vignettes at the cost of plot advancement as this largely sets the stage for what culminates in the battle of all battles between good and evil. Beyond an almost gratuitous amount of wildly, intense action scenes, the narrative pays homage to key features of the original works from Ji Chang's meat pies to Bi Gan's seven chamber heart. It culminates in Ji Fa's hair rising escape from the Shang capital Zhaoge. Keep watching after the credits roll as the following epilogue sets up the next instalment where hopefully we see a lot more plot movement. This is a very difficult and messy novel to adapt but so far, I am very impressed with how cogently and fittingly everything ties together. This promises to be the best adaptation by a long mile of this well loved novel, the first part of which warrants a highly enthusiastic 8.5/10.0 from me.

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Completed
voyagelam
17 people found this review helpful
Sep 8, 2023
Completed 16
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Epic Chinese mythology movie not to be missed

[PARDON ME, THIS IS LONG]

I'm giving this 10 stars, not because I'm Chinese (and naturally biased as many would probably think). I have never read the Investiture of the Gods (the novel on which the Trilogy is largely based), nor properly watched any relevant TV/movie production. (To those who are familiar with the original story, the Trilogy focuses on Jifa rather than Jiang Ziya who is traditionally depicted as the protagonist.)

I am giving this 10 stars, because I am truly in awe of the high quality of the movie consistently demonstrated in all aspects, a master-piece conjured with the blood, sweat and tears of a team of 8000+ crew: the mind blowing cinematographic effects, the exceptionally amazing actors (whether it be men or women, new or seasoned), the extremely elaborate costumes, the lavish grand palace and buildings crafted by 2000+ carpenters, the beautiful original scores and songs, the simply superb and talented Director Wuershan who has dedicated whole heartedly more than 9 years to the Trilogy while constantly striking nothing but perfection throughout... The list goes on.

I am very impressed by the new actors and actresses who survived 6-8 months in a very intensive training camp. Their daily routine usually ran from 5am to 9pm, 6 days a week, where they were required to undergo various types of training including riding, archery, combat, music, history, physical training, swimming and performing, all of which helped transform them into what warriors should look like 3000 years ago - not just the muscles, but also the SPIRIT! And yes, their acting skills may be debatable, but they are by no means awkward. They are meant to play roles that are in the teens/early twenties, which are exactly where they were when the movie started shooting more than 5 years ago. Practically all of them were new to equestrian, one of the many subjects they had to master in the training camp. By the time they graduated, they all became excellent riders that were able to perform amazing acts in concert. That's why the horseback riding shots are so breathtaking - no stunts at all. About this, I would in particular raise my glasses to Yu Shi (Yosh), the actor that plays Jifa. He has a reputation for constantly pushing himself to the limit, back then and throughout those years while waiting for the movie to be released (which was overdue for 3 years). There is a jaw-dropping scene where he turned around and shot arrows from the horseback without reins, something apparently so dangerous that no one else (the equestrian director included) in the set was able to complete. He insisted on performing the whole series of actions himself and after endless practice, day and night, he pulled it off with flying colors. I am sure this is only one of the many spectacular moments that he will be remembered for, down the line.

As for the King, I personally adore Kris Phillips' (AKA Fei Xiang) portrayal and I beg to differ from those who took the view that his acting was terrible. Anyone who goes to the movie with a peaceful heart cannot possibly have come up with that blatant conclusion. His dramatic expressions and awesome physique imparted life to the King who is known in history and novels as someone smart, strong, tall but most of the time, brutal... Many Chinese are of the view that no one else in modern days is better fitted to play the King.

Jichang, played by Li Xuejian, is another role that truly touches my heart. He is a veteran Chinese actor who has won probably all the awards in China that can be garnered. Some may laugh at the way he speaks in the movie, but please try to understand that he has been fighting nasopharyngeal cancer for more than 2 decades, which has seriously affected how he articulates and his hearing too. Why did they insist on using his own voice? It is because only that way, an actor could fully unleash to the audience what the role should really be like. Mr. Li's performance is powerful and flawless in every scene.

Surely, there are areas that require improvements. The special effects - yes, they could have been better but considering the lack of funding and the fact that the Director had to pay out of his pocket to keep it going, I am only hoping the first Installment of the Trilogy could score better in worldwide box office so that more funds can be injected to improve that area which is very important to the 2nd and the 3rd installments. The plot - yes, some wonderfully shot scenes did not appear in the movie, which arguably could help audience understand better, but the Director had to make a judgement call in order not to compromise the integrity of the story line, and having a movie longer than 2.5 hours means more difficulty in getting it released in Chinese theatres, apparently...

Truth be told. I've seen the Creation of the Gods 4 times, all in iMax theatres. Each time, I was able to find details that I previously missed. Each time, I was able to feel more. Last time that I did such a thing was for Titanic, and I only watched it 3 times...

So if you have a big heart and are happy to embrace all cultures, may I urge you to give this movie a chance, and please do so in an iMax theatre if you can!

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Details

  • Movie: Creation of the Gods Ⅰ: Kingdom of Storms
  • Country: China
  • Release Date: Jul 20, 2023
  • Duration: 2 hr. 28 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 622 users)
  • Ranked: #2150
  • Popularity: #6075
  • Watchers: 1,739

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