108 Demon Kings (2014)

05When the Emperor is killed by a team of masked assailants, the leader of his special guard is banished from the capital and forced to live as a wanderer. Taking on the nickname Leopard Face, he meets fellow petty criminals as he travels across the country – the big and big-hearted Black Storm, stubborn Yellow Viper, and the imaginative Pei Pei, among others. His past catches up with him in the form of Zhang the Perfect, a martial arts master who tells him and his friends that the fate of the kingdom is in their hands. They are tasked to look after the exiled Prince Duan, son of the late Emperor, and to bring him back to the capital to reclaim his rightful throne.

Watch this movie especially if you’re interested in different art styles. The animation used here is different from most Asian and American styles I’ve seen – at random points of the movie, one will see actual people mixed in with the cartoon faces. In terms of narrative, I found the cuts in between scenes disruptive of the story’s flow, and specific script choices when it came to unraveling the climax should have been avoided as well. This being supposedly family-oriented, I also found the romantic hints unnerving. The film could have given more time to other aspects of the movie if it didn’t build up on romances that didn’t get proper closure anyway.

For 108 Demon Kings, 2 out of 5 stars.

This movie was part of the French Film Fest Manila 2015.
*Review originally posted on Facebook.
Photo credit: French Embassy Manille on Facebook

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