I’m sorry, but 2 words: Don’t Bother.
You can say what you want about the ornate costumes, the beautiful colors, the amazing sets. Yeah, maybe. But the story? I’m sorry, but if I wanted to be depressed and bored and looking for the fast forward button for 2 hours, I could have watched the housing market reports for a few hours while hitting myself in the head every couple of minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect to China or the actors/actresses in the film or the director. But as far as enjoying a movie goes, I had a better time watching the ultra-violent Shoot ‘Em Up. At least there the good guys win at the end.
Blef. Anyway, if you love Martial Arts movies as much as I do and can’t wait to see the next Jet Li movie, don’t bother renting Curse of the Golden Flower. It’s like taking Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but without any of the really good fight scenes, and the absolute worst Jerry Springer episode ever imagined, plus the daytime soap that was deemed too drawn out and boring to have made it to television, and throw it all together into a 2-hour long fun-fest. Yeah, like that.
I can’t imagine what I’d be looking for in a movie that would make me ever want to watch it again, but if you’re looking for a really cool Martial Arts movie, this ain’t it.
Also, Chow Yun-fat: please don’t kick my butt.
A couple of good reviews from Rotten Tomatoes:
I wanted to be swept away, but even with half of China as extras, I was mostly unimpressed.
Curse of the Golden Flower has no emotional center. There’s nobody to root for here (even the wildly charismatic Chow Yun-Fat seems remote and surly), and the characters’ scheming seems more like an elaborate pageant than a viable drama.
Not even Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li, two of the world’s most impressive actors, can inject any dazzle into this dud.