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In the early 1920ís, on the streets of Beijing, the nationís most talented performers have gathered to show off their most spectacular skills. The challenge is set: a handsome prize to whomever can reproduce a magic trick called the Eight Immortalsí Treat. Zhang Xian (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) appears amidst the waiting crowd and decides to give it a try. So begins a legend of pure magic.
In the years after the Revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty in China and established the republic, China broken up into fiefdoms held by warlords, who are busy fighting each other. A lieutenant is using magic to scare convicts into joining a warlord's army. His warlord has imprisoned a girl and wants her to be his seventh wife, but he's too honorable to force her. The local revolutionaries wants to kill the warlord and bring back the republic. The lieutenant is secretly a member of the Qing Dynasty Remnant and wants to bring back the Empire. The local Japanese businessman is actually trying to take over with help of the local Blackhawk gang. Into this chaos, a stranger returns from aboard with mastery of magic, and is back to recover the girl he loved. There's a good bit of mystery going on as to who is doing the tricking and who isn't. To talk too much about the story would only ruin the surprises that await because the story does have several twists and turns along the way.
There's so much going on here, the film is filled with mystery, action, romance and suspense so there is something for everyone here and with all that is going on the film really keeps your interest. One thing that really takes the film up another level is the cast, Tony Leung and Lau Ching Wan are both terrific in the film but when they share the screen together it is pure magic all by itself. The rest of the cast all did a terrific job as well. I really enjoy the world of magic and the tricks and such that are done in the film are very cool and one thing I really liked about it was that it wasn't all done with CGI like one might expect.
If the film has any down sides it would be that it takes it time getting going and it is a bit too long but stick with it and you will be rewarded in the end. If you like a good action/adventure film then I recommend checking this out. It has a good, engaging story and the magic really makes the film more entertaining to watch till it gets going plus the film's terrific cast and wonderful direction from Derek Yee makes this an original and highly entertaining film.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray, both come with Special Features that include:
Original Language: Mandarin
Dubbed Language: English
Extra: Making THE MAGIC
Released by Well Go USA
**** Out Of *****