JULY 3, 2012 | POSTED IN MAINLAND CHINA,MOVIES, TAGGED CHEN KUN, FENG SHAOFENG, PAINTED SKIN II, PAINTED SKIN: RESURRECTION, WUERSHAN, YANG MI, ZHAO WEI,ZHOU XUN
With a stellar cast and a rising director, love epic Painted Skin II: The Resurrection made over 70 million yuan (about 11 million dollars) on its opening day on June 28th, surpassingLet Bullets Fly (62 million yuan) to have the highest opening weekend box office for a Chinese film. It also doubled Aftershocks‘ record for the midnight premier for Chinese films, and halved the time for a Chinese film to make 300 million RMB (47 million dollars).
The original Painted Skin, kept alive only by the sheer abilities of its lead actors, is no comparison to the much superior sequel. The new revamped fantasy tale boasts a mix of the old and new. The trio of Zhao Wei, Zhou Xun and Chen Kun are still here, to be joined by rising leads Yang Mi and Feng Shaofeng, both of whom sparked in their roles. The rather dull Gordon Chan is replaced with audacious new director Wu’ershan. The dark grays of the original can still be seen in the surrounding city, but the shimmering gold of Zhao Wei’s armor and the serene shots of the water and sand of Tibet makes Resurrection a pleasure to be seen.
As Derek Elley of Film Business Asia put it, ” Whereas the rather old-fashioned Painted Skin, … never knew exactly what it was … Resurrection knows exactly what it is. The script … has no connection with the famous Qing dynasty short story by Pu Songlingthat spawned Painted Skin. Instead, it takes its underlying theme — that beauty is only skin deep — and constructs an elaborate tale in which a seductive fox demon offers to switch her looks with a scarred princess so the latter can test the love of a general who was once her bodyguard. It’s a complex, multi-layered screenplay that mixes myth and witchcraft with eternal truths about love and attraction, as well as stirring in strong “sisterly” resonances in a story that’s female-focused throughout.”