"The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate" Sliced Up 78% on Rotten Tomatoes

Posted 10:06 PM September 1st, 2012 by Senh Duong
"The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate"

The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” opened yesterday in select IMAX 3D theaters across the U.S. for a limited two week engagement. Because of that, it’s getting some reviews from the U.S. press on Rotten Tomatoes.

It started kinda rough in the beginning of the week with a Tomatometer in the 50% range, but had gone up to 78% by opening day. According to the critics, the film is “overstuffed” with characters and secondary storylines, but the visuals, action, and innovative 3D overcome those flaws.

I think the film looks amazing. Each lead character exudes coolness. It brings me back to the glory days on Hong Kong cinema in the early 90’s. Like how CGI improvements in Hollywood has enabled filmmakers to better create the worlds featured in comic books, it allows Hark to better visualize the fantasy worlds of martial arts epics. (You can read my full review here, which also talks about how the HK/China movie industry has changed since the early 90s.)

It’s too bad it’s not opening in Sacramento. I would love to see this film in IMAX 3D, as it’s meant to be seen. I don’t know why it’s not getting a wide release. If marketed correctly, it could be a decent-sized hit, like Li’s previous subtitled release “Hero.”

“The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” is a reteaming of two Hong Kong icons after nearly twenty years - director Tsui Hark and superstar Jet Li. Hark turned Li into a superstar when he cast him in the “Once Upon A Time in China.” It’s also the first Chinese film shot and released in 3D.

The result was nearly $87M at the box office in China, one of the highest grossing films of all time in that country. It’s a record high for both Hark and Li.

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