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Legend of the Naga Pearls (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 22, 2018 by  



For those who want an entertaining, CG visual effects driven Chinese fantasy adventure film, may want to give “Legend of the Naga Pearls” a try!  It’s not a great film but I was entertained by its characters and crazy plot.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Shanghai Films Media. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Legend of the Naga Pearls

FILM RELEASE: 2017

DURATION: 108 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 16:9, Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English and Chinese

COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment

RATED: Not Rated

Release Date: January 30, 2018


Directed by Yang Lei

Written by Tan Cheung, Xu Zhaoqing

Produced by Gordon Chan, Fan Feifei

Music by Ikuro Fujiwara

Cinematography by Arthur Wong

Production Design by Kenneth Mak

Costume Design by Tingting Liang


Starring:

Darren Wang as Ni Kongkong

Tian’Ai Zhang as Hie Yu

Simon Yam as Xuelie

Guansen Sheng as Geli

Xun Wang

Luxia Jiang

Sui He


After being defeated by humans centuries ago, the Winged Tribe has lost their ability to fly. Seeking vengeance, a royal descendant of the tribe has begun searching for the magical Naga Pearls, which he plans to use to destroy the humans. When the legendary pearls fall into – and out of – the hands of Heiyu, a wily human street punk, he must join a team of unlikely heroes as they race to prevent the destruction of their people in this magical fantasy adventure.


Long ago, humans and a wing tribe lived in co existence until the king of the Wing Tribe (that could fly) waged war against the humans and lost.   The humans apart the Wing Tribe’s home to build the city of Uranopolis, while the tribe lost their ability to fly.

We see an introduction to a young Ni Kongkong, being dragged as a child and seeing a blue glow from his right hand and kids beating him and are about to cut the blue area of his hand.  It then forwards to the present Ni Kongkong, who still has a blue glow to his hand which is now scarred.  But he hides it.

One day, Ni Kongkong (portrayed by Darren Wang) who calls himself “The Prince of Thieves” and his Pangolin friend named Oka are caught and instead of getting punished, he agrees to do whatever in hopes to be a free man.  He is given an order to rob a prince for a certain artifact.

As Ni Kongkong goes to steal it, he catches a group of monsters, especially a royal descendant of the Winged Tribe named Xue Lie, who wants to search for the magical Naga Pearls for their leader, Vlad, so they can destroy the humans and avenge his people.  As the Naga Pearls can unlock the Eye in the Sky.

As Vlad arrives, he slays the King and his court looking for the artifact.

But Ni Kongkong who looks for it, manages to find an underground area and tries to steal the artifact, he is confronted by Xue Lie who is intent in getting it back.  But before Xue Lie can kill him, Hei Yu (portrayed by Tian’Ai Zhang), also a wingless descendant and also a constable, in addition Xue Lie’s sister, stops him and protects Ni.

While the two are able to escape, Ni Kongkong, Raven and the King’s son, Geli (portrayed by Guansen Sheng) manage to take the artifact (which no one knows how to open it up in its sealed metal casing) and tries to escape from Xue Lie, who he and his fellow monsters are hunting them down.

Can these three individuals, with their own agenda of why they want the Naga Pearls, prevent Armageddon from happening?


VIDEO:

“Legend of the Naga Pearls” is presented in 1080p High Definition and is a film that looks great in HD. Visual effects were great and black levels were nice and deep, lighting was good and closeups show good detail.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Legend of the Naga Pearls” is presented in Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio.  Dialogue is crystal clear, action sequences utilize the surround channels quite well.  Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Legend of the Naga Pearls” comes with no special features but a trailer.

 


A magical fantasy adventure as we see three very different people, a thief, a winged constable and a king’s son trying to prove himself, teaming up together to prevent Armageddon against Vlad and his followers from exacting revenge on humans.

The film showcases the latest in Chinese fantasy adventure with CGI effects.

Actor Darren Wang who appeared in the Jackie Chan film “Railroad tigers” and the upcoming film “A Better Tomorrow 2018”, plays Ni Konkong, a happy-g0-lucky thief who calls himself “the prince of thieves”.  Spent his life without friends, surviving on what he steals and his only true friend is his pangolin friend named Oka, who can changed into an armored ball and be used as a projectile weapon and has a bad case of flatulence as well.

Ni Kongkong is not at all great at socializing and while he puts on a facade of overconfidence, he tries to impress Hei Yu, a constable but also part of the winged tribe and happens to be the sister of Xuelie, the man that is trying to kill them and serves the evil Vlad.

Actress Tian’Ai Zhang is rather interesting, playing the stoic Hei Yu, with her tsundere attitude and similar to Ni, not very good at socializing, the two may be different but yet they become partners and obviously these two characters have a lot of chemistry.

Hei Yu’s brother is Xuelie, played by veteran actor Simon Lam.  A royal descendant of the Winged Tribe, he is driven by anger and want’s nothing but to destroy the humans for what they did to his tribe.  And he dislikes his sister for befriending humans and not wanting to join him in destroying them.  But surprisingly, I had no idea that was Simon Yam playing the character.

The third person in the team is Geli, the king’s son who is trying to prove that he can avenge his father but while he talks tough, in reality, he’s quite weak.

So, you have three odd individuals and a CG pet taking on monsters and trying to evade the enemies.  In some way, it reminded me a little of “Guardians of the Galaxy” in terms of mismatch of characters, a cute CG character and antagonists chasing them down for an artifact.

The film looks very good in HD and the Mandarin lossless soundtrack is very good as there is good use of the surround channels during the more action-intensive sequences.  Unfortunately, it’s a barebones Blu-ray release with no special features but a trailer.

Sure, “Legend of the Naga Pearls” may not be the greatest Chinese fantasy adventure film and the over-the-top moments may seem cheesy at times but it’s actually an entertaining popcorn action film with a lot of CG visual effects.

For those who want an entertaining, CG visual effects driven Chinese fantasy adventure film, may want to give “Legend of the Naga Pearls” a try!  It’s not a great film but I was entertained by its characters and crazy plot.






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