Demigod: The Legend Begins it’s an experience. That’s the most accurate description for a movie like this. In Chinese culture, glove puppets (or budaixilisten)) was used as a form of theatre. In contemporary Taiwanese culture, glove puppetry is a popular art form, especially in the television series Pili. If you’re not familiar with Pili, you may associate the film with stop-motion animation. Justly. The puppets do not resemble traditional Western puppetry. They move fluidly and look like a porcelain doll.
However, the action is still effective and has the look and feel of a traditional live-action wuxia film. Character designs are meticulously crafted. The fancy costumes, the jewelry, the weapons, and the MacGuffins are all impressive. As Demigod: The Legend Begins not having to conform to the constraints of a theatrical setting, the film takes us to equally impressive places like giant castles or magical forests and mountains. Director Chris Huang’s use of CGI and practical effects also help with the sense of realism they’re trying to portray. Still, there is a lot one can do to make the audience forget that they are still puppets. While it’s shocking to see all the blood and profanity coming from these characters, it just adds to the countryside and charm of the film.
Demigod: The Legend Begins it is a unique cinematic experience. Although the movie makes you feel like you are watching a classic wuxia movie, you are still constantly reminded of the use of glove puppets in the movie.
Despite the unique images of Demigod, the story elements are recognizable, especially for those who watch wuxia movies frequently. The young swordsman trying to prove himself, the cantankerous old master, the villain who wants nothing more than absolute power, wire work, all the tropes found in fantasy martial arts movies. As a result, the movie progresses as one would expect with all these tropes. The plot also suffers from a lack of development. Towards the end of the movie, Demigod: The Legend Begins it quickly skips through much of the supernatural element introductions without any gradual introduction. Despite the familiarity of the plot, the drama never wavers. As the narrative progresses, the stakes are raised and the mood and tone also change. The film gives enough time for the characters to develop throughout the film. Thus, Demigod will leave you feeling for these inorganic puppets.
General, Demigod: The Legend Begins it is a unique cinematic experience. Although the movie makes you feel like you are watching a classic wuxia movie, you are still constantly reminded of the use of glove puppets in the movie. It doesn’t matter how you would describe Demigod: The Legend Begins, one thing is clear: it offers plenty of entertainment for those who are willing to give the film a chance. I never heard of Pili Puppetry until now. However, I am looking forward to seeing what Su Huan Jin’s adventures will be like in the future.
Rating: 3.5/5 atoms
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