Sino Dutch War 1661 (2001)

Directed by
Nice story, badly made film
Reviewed by Simon on 2002-01-06

What has happened to poor Zhao Wen-Zhao's career? He should have stayed under Tsui Hark's wing where he was effectively used, rather than strike out for star roles that he just doesn't have the charisma to carry. Here we see him in a period epic that looks relatively high budget (lots of extras in full costume battling out), but is very badly made. Zhao plays a patriot who is adamant about defending the Qing against outside threats at all costs (or is it the Ming? I swear I can never remember which is which). His loyalty earns him the favour of the king, but he finds that loyalty is not currently in favour elsewhere.

The movie could probably have been pretty good, as the subject is interesting. It's just directed, filmed, edited, acted etc in a very amateurish feeling way. Zhao just isn't a good actor, and in this movie he doesn't even get much chance to show what he can do well... there's a couple of brief scenes where he shows some moves, but far too few and badly filmed at that. Unlikely to get him any more roles in blockbuster hits any time soon :(