The sour: the film is at least 30 minutes too long and the star is too young and too small for the role.
The fight scenes, in or out of the ring, are presented in such a super brutal manner, with thunderous sound effects, that you can’t help but think ten to fifteen of these young warriors should be dead by the midpoint in the film.
I was looking for the human version of the PETA notice that no humans were injured in the making of this motion picture.
The sweet: the photography of China and especially the GREAT WALL is fabulous. This film spent the money and shot on location and it shows on the big screen.
The themes of injustice, brutality, fear, guilt, insecurity, young love and evil are very powerful and for me they overcame the negative issues.
You have to root for this couple, the student and his teacher, who is loaded down with guilt. I predict you will leave the theater feeling uplifted and happy that you came, even if the film is flawed, here and there – emotional appeal beats technical perfection every time.
This film pressed the right button for me.