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L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 25, 2017 by  



“L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is a major step for China in creating a fantasy/adventure CG animated film that looks awesome.  The problem is, too many characters are squeezed into 118 minutes that the storyline is hampered by it.  It may get a little confusing, so it may be a film that one will watch more than once.  Still, “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” has its own charm and cool, stylish visuals that make it work watching.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties

YEAR OF FILM: 2016

DURATION: 118 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 2:39:1 widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

RATED: Not Rated

COMPANY: Lions Gate

AVAILABLE ON: September 26, 2017


Directed by Jingming Guo

Line Producer: Xu Xiaoling

Co-Produced: Qin Zhou

Music by Yuki Kajiura, Ronald Ng

Cinematography by Randy Che


Starring:

Fan Bingbing as Guishan Lian Quan (Disciple to the Fifth Degree)

Kris Wu  as Yin Chen (Lord to the Seventh Degree)

Cheney Chen as Qi Ling (Disciple to the Seventh Degree/Lord to the Zeroth Degree)

William Wai-Ting Chan as You Ming (Lord to the Second Degree)

Amber Kuo as Thalia (Lord to the Fourth Degree)

Yun Lin as Tianshu You Hua (Disciple to the Sixth Degree)

Mi Yang (Disciple to the Second Degree)

Roy Wang as Cang Bai Shao Nian

Yikuan Yan as Guishan Feng Hun (Lord to the Fifth Degree)

Duo Wang as Qi La (Lord to the Third Degree)

Aarif Rahman as Ni Hong (Disciple to the Fourth Degree)


Supernatural warriors clash with dark forces of evil in this electrifying fantasy-adventure. In a distant time, seven lords who wield powers beyond imagination share dominion over a world. But when one lord falls from grace, the others must summon all their magic to stop an epic war that is ravaging the land – and threatening the order of the universe.


In 2016, the Chinese computer animated motion capture action fantasy film “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” was released in theaters.

Directed by famous author Guo Jingming, the film stars Fan Bingbing (“Iron Man 3”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “My Way”), Kris Wu (“xXx: Return of Xander Cage”, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”, “Mr. Six”), Cheney Chen (“The Great Wall”, “Tiny Times”), William Wai-Ting Chan (“Triad”, “As the Light Goes Out”), Amber Kuo (“Au revoir Taipei”, “Keeper of Darkness”), Yun Lin (“The Mermaid”, “Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back”) and Mi Yang (“Gorbaciof”, “Painted Skin: The Resurrection”, “The Bullet Vanishes”).

And now the film will be released on DVD courtesy of Lionsgate.

The film begins with an introduction to the Odin Mainland which is separated into four countries with soul masters protect their own country utilizing their own soul powers.  And the most powerful, seven of them are known as Noble Lords (Dukes).

The film begins with a busboy named Qi Ling (portrayed by Cheney Chen), when the jovial young man goes to work at the inn, he sees a group of spirit warriors at the inn who came from the capital to the area to hunt a spirit beast.

Immediately, the land starts freezing and many people are frozen to death and are killed.  While many in the inn are killed, the female spirit warrior is targeted by a huge white lion with wings who has the power to freeze and control the elements.

Meanwhile, Yin Chen, the Silver Priest (portrayed by Kris Wu) working for the Lord of the Seventh is ordered by the Silver Priest (portrayed by Roy Wang) to take in a disciple. Lady Knox (Talia), Duke of the fourth, is ordered to work with the Duke of the Second to hunt down the Duke of the Fifth, Guishan Feng Hun (portrayed by Yikuan Yan) and his disciple, Guishan Lian Quan (portrayed by Fan Bingbing) for treason.

We then see Guishan Feng Hun running away with a blonde individual and then fighting against himself (a body double that came out of a mirror).

The film then goes to Qi Ling awakening and being taken in by Yin Chen and is told that he was brought back from the dead and that he will now become trained as his disciple.


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is presented in 2:39:1 and is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital. The original mandarin dialogue is not included and thus, if you are looking for information on this film, you will notice the names used in the English release versus the Chinese release differ.  For the most part, picture quality is good as it gets on DVD. It’s amazing to look at it because, for example, fans of Fan Bingbing know how she looks and to see a CG version of her is pretty cool.  The motion capture and how the characters look are really well-done, some may feel very video game like but for the most part, the picture quality and animation is very good.  The soundtrack features quite a bit of action and utilizes the surround channels fairly well!

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” comes with no major special features.


“L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is no doubt an ambitious project showcasing China’s CG animation.  While Japan and Korea have been the focal point for years, it’s good to see a film showcasing how far China has come in CG animation and “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” looks great!

But like a video game, graphics are only a part of it and a storyline is important.  While “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is a film that I found fun, humorous and action-packed at times, there are too many characters that may confuse viewers.

The film starts off with Qi Ling and then we are introduced to the Lord of the Seventh, Yin Chen.  But then we are introduced to Tianshu You Hua of the Sixth and then we find out that Thalia of the Fourth and You Ming are after Guishan Feng Hun of the Fifth and his disciple Guishan Lian Quan.

Confused?

Yeah, it can get confusing. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if one watched this film multiple times.

I mention video game because in some ways, it reminds me of a JRPG (Japanese role playing game) like “Final Fantasy”, where you start off with an initial character and then the game branches to introduce many other characters.

Where RPG’s have many hours of gameplay with relationships to build upon, movies don’t have that luxury (unless they are built upon a series or comic book preceding the film).

Think of series of warring states or leaders and can you imagine “Game of Thrones” being limited to 118 minutes?  “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is a film that tries to introduce too many characters and what is considered a primary character for the first half of the film, may not be the primary character of the second half of the film.  The film starts off showcasing Qi Ling (Cheney Chen’s character), but somehow the film ends up being more about Guishan Lian Quan (Fan Bingbing’s character).

While I can’t deny that I enjoyed the film for its visual presentation and action, especially to see Fan Bingbing in CG.  If the film was made into a trilogy or even a two-parter, perhaps the story could have been fleshed out a bit more and character dynamics would come into play more efficiently.

As for the DVD, picture quality looks great as it can on DVD, although I wished it was released on Blu-ray.  Audio is good as the English dub is crystal clear including the film’s action sequences but I admit that I was hoping for special features, which there are none included.

Overall, “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” is a major step for China in creating a fantasy/adventure CG animated film that looks awesome.  The problem is, too many characters are squeezed into 118 minutes that the storyline is hampered by it.  It may get a little confusing, so it may be a film that one will watch more than once.  Still, “L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” has its own charm and cool, stylish visuals that make it work watching.







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