Double World 征途 (2020) - China (Netflix)
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Based on a best selling Chinese video game, goes the distance in terms of CGI and special effects, but lacks crucial heartfelt characters for all to embrace. “Double World” is not a bad film and manages to entertain in its various brutal fight scenes revoking “Gladiators”, “Hunger Games” and “Games of Thrones”. It’s a shame as visually the film got most things correct, except for character development and a lacklustre and uneven storyline. Director Teddy Chan made the entertaining Donnie Yen’s “Kung Fu Jungle” shines technically with style, but ends up lacking in an overtly contrived plot line and far too much insignificant characters to boot.
Peter Ho co-leads as one of the trio of clan warriors. Ho seems to be acting in another movie altogether as he barely sleepwalk thru the role with zero charisma and presence. The film is saved by the other two younger warriors played by kind hearted Henry Lau and 15 year old Lin Chenhan who impresses in her lively performance. Lin in particular excels in the fight scenes and more than hold her own against more experienced actors. Him Law is wasted as royal bodyguard that appears to be devoid of human emotions. Hu Ming plays the lead villain, but ends up being more cheesy and cartoony than menacing.
All in all, “Double World” goes excess with the visuals and ended up overshadowing the rest of the movie. The fight sequences are generally entertaining, but the characters and story comes up short of building any kind of emotions. Sometimes, style over substance goes some miles, but for this case it is another wasted opportunity to make something truly great.
I rated it 6/10