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May 17, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 7.5
[Watched on on Letterboxd 5/08/2021]

"Zu: Warriors From the Magic Mountain" has the distinction of being known as the film that inspired John Carpenter's 1986 fantasy film, "Big Trouble in Little China". Now that I have that context, the influence of this film is fairly evident throughout "Big Trouble in Little China". Not the blatant orientalism (a specifically western problem), but just how muddled and convoluted it is as a narrative "in middle of things", and as a visual effects film.

Sammo Hung is in this movie and they have him dressed like a fifth century Mario Luigi. The fate of billions depend on a bunch of kids who have to save the world from the devil because the adults are too busy drawing lines in the sand! Easily as you could sum this movie with a basic "Character A and Character B do [blank]", watching it in real time reveal a story that tends to be hard to follow and piece together.

The enthusiasm that went into the film's special effects is pretty clear from the jump, it's just a shame that none of that energy translated to the greater narrative. Fun as it is to watch the characters kind've fumble their way through one event after another, none of the characters really leave a lasting impression on you. Performances as a serviceable as they can be in a film like this, and certainly do enough to maintain the goofiness of the story.

If you've never seen this film before, but might've heard about it, give it a chance. You might have fun.

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Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain (1983) poster



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