blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Painted Skin: The Resurrection (2012, Wuershan)

A scene from PAINTED SKIN: THE RESURRECTION, directed by Wuershan for Huayi Brothers Media.

Painted Skin: The Resurrection is an unpleasant experience, straddling the fence between stupid and bad. The script, from Ran Ping and Ran Jia-nan, is the weakest link. This magnificent, grandiose melodrama set in Ancient China only has a handful of characters in it. The side characters populating an elaborately constructed–physically and digitally–fall away to concentrate on the leads. While it makes some sense narratively, it makes Resurrection feel empty and fake; the script seems more geared towards cutscenes in a video game.

The CG doesn’t help the artificiality much either. Almost every shot–meaning ninety-eight percent, not sixty or some low figure–has some kind of CG in it. Suspiciously named director Wuershan composes–with his digital crutch–some lovely shots, unfortunately he can’t direct. The action scenes in Resurrection are atrocious, full of inexplicable slow motion. Then Wuershan carries over that slow motion to every sequence in the movie. Like the already boring movie needs to be artificially extended….

Resurrection is a pointless assault on the senses, with Ishida Katsunori’s lousy score an accomplice. It’s too much, every time–except when it comes to pixie cute demon, Mini Yang. The filmmakers inexplicably cheap out on her effects.

None of the acting is good, with lead Zhao Wei probably being the worst. She’s really, really bad. Her demon sidekick, Zhou Xun, is a little better. The object of their mutual affections–Kun Chen–gives the film’s “best” performance.

Resurrection‘s the pits from the opening titles.



Directed by Wuershan; written by Ran Ping and Ran Jia-nan; director of photography, Arthur Wong; edited by Xiao Yang; music by Ishida Katsunori; produced by Pang Hong, Wang Zhonglei and Chen Kuo-fu; released by Huayi Brothers Media.

Starring Chen Kun (Huo Xin), Zhao Wei (Princess Jing), Zhou Xun (Xiaowei), Mini Yang (Que’er), Feng Shaofeng (Pang Lang), Fei Xiang (The Witch Doctor of Tianlang), Chen Tingjia (The Queen of Tianlang) and Morgan Benoit (Wolf Slave of Tianlang).


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