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The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang…a Let-Down?

In school, most teachers had a favourite student. This could be both a privilege and a burden because any wrongdoings from that student had a much bigger impact. Seeing our favourite actors act in films that, to us, are of a lower standard than their usual work, is disappointing.  Jackie Chan’s new film The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang may be a letdown for his biggest fans.

The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang follows a magical demon hunter (Jackie Chan) as he has to protect the human world when the barrier between human and demon worlds is broken. With only the help of his (not too bright) apprentice (Po-Hung Lin) and a group of tamed creatures, can he save the world?

The plot is not as edgy as it sounds. Instead, it leans more towards a children’s fantasy film as it mixes quite imaginative and exaggerated plot points with light humour.

Parts of the plot did not really make sense, but that could be attributed to the fantasy nature of the film and world in which it takes place.

The feature does not really explain the fantasy world it thrusts its audiences into, nor how that world works or what drives the actions of the characters in it. Instead, viewers just figure things out as they go along, but only if they’re patient enough to keep watching.

The pace of the plot was somewhat slow with most of the action happening at the third act of the film. The first and second acts are filled with preparatory events designed mainly to fill the acts.

The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang did work on characterisation in the first and second acts, with several character trait revealing scenes. However, due to the genre and the humorous element in the film, characterisation was still quite shallow, and therefore audiences did not really identify or care too much about the characters. 

The feature’s graphics are mesmerising, especially when it comes to the vast landscapes, but some of the graphics made the film seem silly and more like a children’s film that will only be enjoyed by very young children who like cute creatures.

For the acting, the feature relied on Jackie Chan’s undeniable talent, and he delivered a comedy-filled performance as well as outstanding martial arts routines. Chan lifted the film to heights it would not otherwise have reached without him. Po-Hung Lin also gave a comedy-filled performance with his role as constant comical relief, even if at times his acting was over just a tad over the top.

If you are into fantasy martial arts films and are a huge Jackie Chan fan then maybe you will enjoy this, but just be prepared to step into a not too convincing fantasy.

Like This? Try

Drunken Master (1978), Shanghai Noon (2002), Rush Hour 3 (2007).

360 Tip

The film's run time is 109 minutes.

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