Creation Of The Gods I: Kingdom Of Storms

封神第一部:朝歌风云 | Creation of the Gods | Fengshen Trilogy
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Reviewed by   |  Jul 10, 2024

Big budget, lavish, and CGI slathered fantasy epic based on the famous novel ‘Fengshen Yanyi’ by Xu Zhonglin, ‘Kingdom of Storms’ certainly gives it a good go at adapting the ancient tale for the big screen even though it buckles slightly under its lofty ambitions and reliance on copious CGI.

King Zhou (Fei Xiang) rules the land with a no mercy policy, he and his consort fox spirit Su Dajo (Na Ran) ruling for personal gain rather than the benefit of the kingdom. The mystics of Kunlun Mountain foresee King Zhou only getting worse and dispatch their trusted aide Ziya to stop the King using the power of an ancient artefact, the Fengshen Bang. But when King Zhou uses said artefact for more death and destruction Ziya flees with it into the lands, hotly pursued by the King and his large army. In turn, as the King rages and shows no signs of relenting his marauding, those within his ranks soon grow tired of his evil ways plotting a plan to overthrow him.

The first part of a proposed trilogy, it’s an epic challenge to condense Xu Zhonglin’s tome into movie form but Wuershan (no stranger to big budget CGI fantasy with the likes of ‘Painted Skin: The Resurrection’ on his CV) and his team certainly give it a good go. While big and colourful in its look and CGI sheen, ‘Kingdom of Storms’ is quite dark in tone with the duplicitous machinations of several characters leading to some murky paths for the characters to go down. While the trailers play up the epic action and CGI creatures there’s a lot more going on than one might assume, and it pays to pay attention as characters switch sides and go in directions one may not expect.

This gives us some meaty drama to chew on which while well handled by the cast (Na Ran stealing the show as the wily fox spirit!), does drag at times with a whiff of soap opera melodrama unfortunately creeping into proceedings. Fortunately, there is some decent action to supplement any drags into the melodramatic though it is very CGI based. There’s some grounded action peppered throughout but Wuershan goes all out in creating spectacular vistas, characters, and flights of fancy action giving the film more of a superhero feel than say a straight wuxia/martial arts vibe. However, it’s often entertaining and crafted with care and the makers go all out in the home run to deliver giant CGI creature action.

A mixed bag but certainly entertaining once one gets through the more ponderous parts and the dark plotting and impressive CGI action takeover.

Trinity CineAsia recently released ‘Creation Of The Gods I: Kingdom Of Storms’ on Blu-ray and DVD, and you can order it now from
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