With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties
Directed by Jingming Guo
Starring Fan Bingbing (Iron Man 3, X-Men: Days of Future Past),
Kris Wu ( xXx: Return of Xander Cage, The Mermaid), and
China/Cambodia, 2015, 118 minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $14.98

Qi Ling (Cheney Chen) is young tavern worker who joins forces with powerful warriors in L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties, which arrives on DVD, Digital HD and On Demand today, Tuesday, September 26th from Lionsgate. (I'm not sure why there's no period after the "D" in the title; perhaps with the colon that follows, it was thought that two consecutive punctuation marks would be too much.)

The animated film, based on epic fantasy novels by Guo Jingming, features the voices of Kris Wu and Fan Bingbing as sorcerers battling an evil traitor in order to restore peace in an ancient kingdom.

The animation, which utilizes both computer animation and motion-capture, is by the visual effects team that worked on James Cameron’s Avatar and on Warcraft.

The human figures have elongated bodies and limbs, so the female ones look like animated versions of Chinese Victoria's Secret models. There are Spirit Beasts (such as a Winged-Lion), Blood Weapons (Resurrection Chains being one example) and other elements of the supernatural. Overall the animation is very good.

Disc Specs:
— Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
— Subtitles
   — English
   — Spanish
   — Off
— Trailers - from other Lionsgate offerings, none for L.O.R.D.

The movie comes across as an animated Chinese variation of Lord of the Rings. Which brings me to the one issue I have. L.O.R.D: Legends of Ravaging Dynasties ends with the story-line hanging. Clearly one or more films is anticipated. According to its Wikipedia entry, the film opened well, but its "earnings fell significantly after its opening day due to poor word of mouth and competition from Operation Mekong".

I have found no indication that a sequel is in the works or even contemplated. So one may wind up paying for a film whose full story will not be told. Still, what we have here is well-worth watching. (And keep in mind that the Japanese classic live-action film Sword of Doom,1966, was intended as the first film in a trilogy that never materialized.)

AsianCineFest Rating: 3 out of 4 stars. Just bear in mind that there may never be a L.O.R.D: Legend of the Ravaging Dynasties, Part II (or III).

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