A sweeping martial arts epic in the mode of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, THE PROMISE is a crowd-pleasing stew of action, fairy tale conventions, wire-fu, and romance with undeniable international appeal for young and old alike. The most expensive film ever produced in China, director Chen Kaige (FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE) has assembled a lavish, far-reaching spectacle in which ornate, brightly-hued costumes and dreamlike landscapes leap off the screen. In a world where gods and mortals share the same space, a poor, orphaned girl in a war-torn land is promised by the Goddess Manshen (Chen Hong) that she will grow up to be beautiful and wealthy--though she will lose every man she loves. The girl grows to be Princess Qingcheng (Cecilia Cheung), radiantly beautiful and with many admirers. When a vicious young duke (Nicholas Tse) becomes intent on capturing her, a General (Hiroyuki Sanada) outfits his slave (Jang Dong-Gun)--who has supernatural running ability--with his armour and orders him to rescue the princess. She falls for him, believing him to be the General.
Numerous gorgeous set-pieces would make a great impression regardless of the proceedings, but the tale they serve is thrilling and warm, with an attractive cast to execute it. Computer-generated imagery is employed liberally and often gives THE PROMISE the look of a video game, but the actors, especially Dong-Gun and Cheung, never fail to transcend the visual effects.
Release Date: 27 April 2009
Certificate: TBA - To Be Announced