Already in Australian cinemas (hat tip to martial arts movie blog Budomate, whose Twitter post I saw) is Chen Kaige’s brand-new period fantasy/comedy/adventure Monk Comes Down the Mountain. This seems to have arrived on our shores last week, which means it came day-and-date with (or just before) the Chinese release.
The film is a period adventure film with a big cast; Variety‘s review describes it as like Chen’s 2005 film The Promise without that film’s kitschiness, definitely the right element to leave out. The story follows a monk who is forced to leave his sequestered existence in a Taoist monastery and seek his own way in the wider world of the 1930s.
The cast includes Wang Baoqiang, Aaron Kwok and Chang Chen, Lin Chi-ling, Fan Wei, Yuen Wah, Vanness Wu, Wang Xueqi, Danny Chan Kwok-kwan, Lam Suet and Dong Qi, which is quite the list, and the wuxia comic it’s based on comes from Xu Haofeng, who co-wrote Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster and has done some directing himself (Judge Archer, The Sword Identity).
Here’s a trailer, heavy on the wire-fu:
It’s in limited release right now in select Hoyts cinemas around the country — catch it before it disappears!