League of Gods (2016) Poster

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Why all the bad reviews??
SkywalkerJones3 November 2016
I can't believe the low score for this movie and the bad reviews complaining about the effects. Yes, there's a lot of CGI in this movie but no more than you see in the Avengers or Star Trek. And yes the storyline is a bit weird at times, but it's an Asian fantasy movie based on a centuries old fable so things are gonna be a little different. I thought some of the action scenes were amazing and there was some funny moments and some great acting. Grab some popcorn, turn your brain off for 100 minutes and sit back and enjoy the show without overanalysing things and you'll have a good time. Can't wait for the sequel...
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I think I broke my brain!
Rob_Taylor21 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to review this movie. It kind of defies a normal review that talks about acting and effects and so on. Instead, as you a re watching it, any such notion of critical analysis pretty much goes out the window.

See, League of Gods (LoG) is an Asian fantasy and, to our western eyes, used to the likes of Lord of the Rings and even the more recent Warcraft, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. There is little in the way of story or character development. You are plunged straight into it and given little to establish either the setting or the players.

Once you accept that, and simply let the movie wash over you like a mad tide, you'll get more enjoyment out of it.

But when I say tide, I really mean tsunami in this instance. The movie is relentless in its madness, throwing ever more craziness at the audience and not caring if you like it or not. It's an onslaught of visual excess that rarely lets up and can be a little exhausting to watch.

That said, I did find it a refreshing change from the usual stodge that Hollywood churns out these days.

So...will you like it? Well, it depends on your personal level of acceptance of crazy. It's exactly the kind of insanity that Jack Burton, from Big Trouble in Little China, would wax lyrical about...

"Giant dancing crabs, farting babies, some guy flying around with burning wheels on his feet and people roaming the skies in stone Tetris ships. I have no idea what's going on here Jiang, but its clear you people have a problem on your hands and old Jack is here to help you sort it out by crossing the eyes and punching some teeth. So why don't you pick up your talking pot plant and we'll go deal with the snake lady and her minions and set matters to rights!"

Honestly, that imagined speech should tell you all you need to know about the movie to make a judgment as to whether you''l find it enjoyable.

I rated it a five primarily for the craziness and the gorgeous visuals. The CGI is extremely weak overall, but somehow that just adds to its charm. It isn't higher because the story is poorly presented and the characters have little more than token personalities. Acting is acceptable, in so much as there isn't much need for decent acting because it is primarily action.

All in all, however, I feel this was an opportunity missed. It clearly wanted to be a Chinese Lord of the Rings, but without the world building and steady build-up it turned out more of a fantasy Transformers.

One nice part was the music, by John Debney, which elevates the movie considerably. However, even his efforts can't make it more than a passable effort.

My best recommendation is to view this film with your mates, a large crate of beer, and to just treat it as a crazy comedy. You'll get more out of it that way.

SUMMARY: Crazy Chinese fantasy epic that espouses style and visuals over substance. Fun to watch for the craziness, but let it wash over you rather than trying to understand what is going on. Otherwise, it is middling at best.
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What a fun movie !
Bullibuoy28 February 2017
I'm surprised to read so many low ratings on this movie, this is my favorite movie to date in this genre, I love Martial Arts movies , especially fantasy ones and this has everything you could possibly want. The characters are creative, great costumes/make up, lots of fun CGI, cloud cities, immortal warlord bad guys, evil demons, out of this world kung fu, and action action action. Wuxia movies are a ton of fun, not to be taken too seriously, after all they're literally out of this world stories about demons and heros. If you liked The Serpent & the White Snake, or Monkey King, True Legend, The Four series, or the Tai Chi Hero / Zero, then you'll love this.
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Look passed CGI
margotstkzijde10 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Personally i don't understand all the heavy complaining there is about CG these days, it doesn't just appear in Asian rooted movies, but in Western cultured movies as well. People are so easily irritated and left unsatisfied these days and complain about things that, until half a century ago, were not even possible. Go back to the age of stop motion CGI and then come back to complain again.

anyway, to keep it to this movie, i personally am a very large fan of fantasy movies of any kind. There is just something special about Asian rooted fantasy movies in particular that i love. I've always been a sucker for the grand sets, colorful costumes and designs, and even the kind of images they can bring to life with CG.

If you can look past the fact that Naza, in his child form is clearly CG and unreal. If you can look past the fact that more of these creatures made with CG just don't have that realistic look, then it's much easier to enjoy the movie.

Yes the plot is a bit messy, and because there are so many elements it's hard to follow. But despite that, i do love the debt that it gives and it goes further then heroes just bashing on each other, good fighting evil, etc.

I for one, found the movie really enjoyable and i would watch it again. If you have a love for fantasy, super powers and war between good and evil, and can put yourself past a distinct use of CG and a messy plot, then it's not a waste of time to watch this.
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Even the star studded cast is not enough a reason for us to recommend this soulless mess of a movie
moviexclusive30 July 2016
Before attending the preview of this Chinese summer action fantasy blockbuster, this writer came across an online article about how the movie is being billed as a "Chinese X Men". Next, he watched the trailer and had a nagging feeling that he will have nothing good to say about this star studded production (if you are not the hugest fan of overdoses of special effects and computer generated creatures, then you are on this reviewer's side).

True enough, the 110 minute movie throws scene after scene of pompous action sequences at its viewers. There is nothing particularly original about this production – it is really a messy mashup of things you have seen elsewhere.

Based on the Ming Dynasty novel Fengshen Yanyi (Investiture of the Gods) by Xu Zhonglin, the story starts of with a tyrannical king (a bored looking Tony Leung, who had seen better days in movies like the recent Cold War 2), who is also bewitched by a beautiful empress (Fan Bingbing, who is the best part about this movie), who is in fact an ancient fox demon (watch out for her giant tentacles!). Just as the evil duo are about to kill off a good guy who is holding the secrets to destroy the ultimate baddie known as the Black Dragon, good guys in the form of a righteous young man (an earnest Jacky Heung who can't save the movie) and a powerful sorcerer (Jet Li, who can definitely do much better than this).

Elsewhere, there is a villainous general who rides on a CG black panther (Louis Koo, who probably is happy from earning some easy bucks), a rebellious warrior who flies around on CG fire wheels (Wen Zhang, who took over the role from Cecilia Chung after she was fired for poor behaviour) and a righteous warrior who yields CG weapons (an underused Huang Xiaoming). Oh, there is also the love interest character (Angelababy, looking as pretty as ever with her big dreamy eyes) who looks really happy when she sees CG blue butterflies. The good guys are supposed to hunt down a mighty sword which is supposed to save the world (but of course).

To be honest, the story does have quite a bit of potential to capitalise the characters' campy abilities and the demons' out of this world powers to produce an entertaining piece of work. Unfortunately, when you have HK$300 million to blow on a movie, budget is spent on trying to impress the masses with CG scenes (this columnist might have been more impressed if there were animatronics on display). Money was probably also spent on "foreign talents" like composer John Debney (The Jungle Book), animation director Randall William Cook (The Lord of the Rings), sound designer Brent Burge (The Hobbit) and editor Wayne Philip Wahrman (I Am Legend).

The result? A mess that can hardly be salvaged. We just need to mention one scene for you to know what to expect – A CG Nezha invades an underwater palace and destroys CG sea monsters with CG fart. Yup, you read it right. We rest our case here - till the sequel comes along (yup, there will probably be one).
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On the behalf of Chinese everywhere, I apologize
hansel7143 January 2017
I don't normally write reviews but this movie is just God awful. A reviewer said that you shouldn't view the movie with western eyes because it's an Asian film. I'm Chinese and this film is the worst Chinese film I've ever seen. The actors are under utilized; the cgi is over the top, ugly, and unrealistic; the plot is just terrible. I'm so confused on who the main actor is, because there are so many subplots. You can develop characters without the subplots. What is that under the sea scene about? Didn't the evil general perish in the sky? How did he appear on the battlefield? The editing is just terrible. The edit at the beginning of the movie when the king is having a celebration while a jailbreak is going on is just risible. It's just a terrible terrible film. Please, no sequel.
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Fun to this westerner's eyes!
archyros-3090915 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As I have never read the original story, I will have to take others word for it being a poor, westernized adaptation.

All I know is that I found this an enjoyable fairy tale. I did not compare it to any other movie. The CGI was pretty good, and the story kept moving.

It was clearly meant to be funny in places, and the kid with the power evacuation and explosive farts was not my kind of humor, but then I do not enjoy most modern toilet humor in Western movies either.

The action scenes were well done and exciting, and I always enjoy watching people with powers flying around, fighting, and beating the bad guys. The story was not over by the end of the movie, and there has to be a sequel.

The big bad only arrives at the end of the movie, so we need to see the heroes regroup and take him out. They need to save their world. That was another surprise to me, when early on it became clear that this story did not take place on Earth. Three suns??!!! Flying air ships! Yes the movie looks crazy, but it was crazy fun.

I just hope Angelababy's character Blue Butterfly comes back somehow.
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This could have been Chinese lord of the rings in the right hands
nagavenkat-2880611 November 2016
I thought Chinese are getting better at making movies after watching the mermaid,dragon blade and journey to the west. The story is about an evil king with a beautiful empress who is a nine tail fox demon. Our heros must find a legendary sword and together defeat the villains.We have a villain general riding on black panther like he man, a hero who flies on weird rings, another hero with wings and more blah blah.Sooo much potential completely ruined. The movie is filled with cgi and action but no space for story or character development. They put too much in one movie.The scenes jump from one action scene to other without any connection. My head still hurts watching this mess.Even the action and visuals were very confusing and too fast. Just when an action scene ends another one starts without giving any room for the characters to interact.There was no proper introduction to the setting and any details about the life of character's.In the second half a little bit drama made me give this five stars. A disappointment from Jet li who tried to be gandalf in this movie. I couldn't stop laughing when they showed signs of a sequel at the end. Finally a great comment from a youtuber.

"It's all fun and games until a baby goes cgi".
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Crammed, rushed story, but still fun
datalore_alpha30 March 2018
First of all, let's get the main issue everyone talks about out of the way. Yes, there's a lot of CGI, but I feel they did pretty well with it. I don't think they could achieve the epic level they were aiming for without it, and I personally liked all the eye candy.

This movie felt like an Asian Lord of the Rings on steroids, massive steroids, almost to the point where they should be illegal steroids. Where Lord of the Rings was a bit too slow for my taste, this story moved way too fast.

Characters were dished out left and right so fast and with so little explanation that you're left wondering where they came from and what their reason really is for being there at all. Imagine the Avengers without the previous movies of each hero to help you learn about and understand them. In fact I'd love to see solo movies for some of the characters here like Jiang, Ne Zha, Erlang Shen...

There's so much content that they have to work with here, but it was all thrust into one large movie that was frankly just too much, especially for us Westerners that don't have much knowledge of the backgrounds to these stories.

Anyway, don't expect a deep story with deep characters. Just take it for what it is - a gorgeous, epic fantasy action adventure - and you'll enjoy it.
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A bloated CGI monstrosity
Leofwine_draca15 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
LEAGUE OF GODS is another CGI monstrosity aimed at the Chinese market, although Hong Kong producers are criminally responsible for this one. First, the good stuff: it's big budget, based on a classic 16th century novel, and features an all-star cast of cameoing stars. Sadly, the whole thing turns out to be an overblown CGI mess of the kind I've never witnessed before, and that makes it very, very bad indeed.

This film offers near constant CGI in a way that would make George Lucas proud. It has more CGI than in STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE which is saying something. Every scene features CGI in some regard: CGI monsters, CGI snakes, CGI magical blasts, CGI flying, CGI backgrounds, even CGI characters. The direction is a dizzying blend of quick cuts and endless CGI transitions, no surprise given that the director is an effects man best known for his assistant direction on Jackie's WHO AM I?. As for the actors, they don't even get a look in. I'm a martial arts fan, but the wirework-assisted action is in very short supply.

Tony Leung is an evil king in thrall to an evil sorceress played by Fan Bingbing. There are so many CGI snakes and effects in their scenes that it's difficult to make them out. A bloated and weary Jet Li, suffering from real-life health problems, offers little more than an extended cameo in his role of a crusading priest (basically the same as his one in EMPEROR AND THE WHITE SNAKE). Louis Koo shows up as a bad guy riding a giant panther while Angelababy simpers and looks vacant (no difficulty for her).

The film's bald-headed hero, played by Jacky Heung, has a single expression on his wooden face throughout. The CGI action scenes are endless and wearisome after about five minutes. The plot seems to be a blend of LORD OF THE RINGS, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, and STAR WARS with no sense or wit about it. The hero is accompanied by a creepy CGI baby and an annoying CGI plant in some scenes. A giant CGI centipede attacks at one point. Later, Louis Koo turns into a fantasy version of the Hulk. It's incredibly poor, laughably so in fact, and a complete waste of time, effort, and money.
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An Epic movie
koundinya-8735924 September 2018
Wonderful Fantasy movie with lots of Extraordinary Magic. Amazing from beginning to End without blink of Eyes. Awaiting for Part-2. Looking how are they going to defeat Black Dragon.
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Better to spend your money elsewhere
ll19233 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is one movie school case study where big names will not carry a story if there is simply no story! I was lured into watching this movie by the big names heading it – but it was a waste of talent. The writing was shoddy and we ended up amusing ourselves by playing "spot the movie scene / fairy tale". It was like watching Lord of the Rings – yes here Ji Lei looks for the Sword of Legends while Frodo was looking for a ring, then there was AngelaBaby aka Pinocchio who was made alive by a CG riding panther General Louis Koo, acting as if she walked out of 50 First Dates, with her memory loss (she actually doesn't question why she was on the Porta-Boat with a stranger –ok the question is how does she remember that she forgets…). Then there was the scene from Excalibur with the one worthy or in this case, "woody" one pulling out the sword with a Star Wars /Battle Star Galactica fighting scene going on in the background. There was also the General turned monster scene that looked like one of the monsters from Lord of the Rings, the giant centipede that that resembled scenes from Men in Black, there was every a scene with the "eye" which reminded me of Stardust where the blind witch sisters fought for a look. Fang BingBing's octopus "tails" were like Spiderman's Octavius. The palaces / castles looked like Thor's Asgard palace, the Pool of Spring looked like the dungeon pools in Harry Potter and the list goes on.

I hated that they dubbed Tony Leung speaking Mandarin with a Cantonese accent – come on, if you are going to dub, at least let the character speak normally. I love Huang Xiaomin but his costume made him look like a golden cob of corn (or a golden walking condom)– and not the mortal enemy of fox demoness Daji (Fan Bingbing)! And what was it with Ao Guang's (Emperor of the East Ocean) underwater palace being destroyed by a farting Nezha?!

I was looking forward to some good old-fashion ku-fung fighting but all we got was some poorly executed CGI. In this day and age, the quality of the CGI was quite unforgivable. Even the Scorpio King was loads better.

Waste of acting talent and budget!
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One of the worst Chinese mythology adaptation, all because of Western influence.
ssjben-680-66852215 April 2017
This is absolutely by far, one of the worst Chinese mythology adaptation I've ever seen in my 28 years as a Chinese. The biggest flaw is how the characters had almost no resemblance to their original selves, they were "westernized" for the sake of appealing to the western audience. The story was all over the place, pointless and the screen play was obviously rushed - where it felt like the director had a checklist of what to do and just went with it. They took the essential core of Chinese mythology and just littered it with as much explosions as possible. I mean, space ships... really?

As for any saving grace, I'd give the movie some props for having a very decent audio mastering prowess. The LFE was taut, it wasn't overbearing and it has a sense of weight whenever the scene asks for it. There's also some good usage of surround effects, voices pan with very nice and wide separation that makes it a little eerie to listen to at times.

China's visual department has definitely came a long way. They're still a few steps behind Hollywood as a whole, but they're definitely closer than ever. Good effort by the VFX team, unfortunately the decision in making the whole movie look like the Avengers was a big turn off.

This is a mediocre movie at best and most of the time, it's just simply bad. It deserves a 3 simply because of its audio presentation and a nod to the VFX team. Other than that, this movie belongs in the litter box of garbage movies.
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Not going to regret watching this movie!!!
jordancornally25 March 2018
I Honestly don't know what is up with the low ratings for this movie. It does what it was set out to do. Lots of CGI. Was it bad CGI? No it wasn't it was really good. The action is brilliant and the acting is good too. Sit back, relax and enjoy the movie.
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Beautiful movie! Never mind the Negative reviews
tofixtorepair1030 December 2018
First of all this is a movie this is not a movie to learn how to create movies you're not in school learning about the special a fax this is for you to sit back and relax and enjoy something that doesn't have to do with reality I think the CGI effects were beautiful the colors everything it was a gorgeous movie yeah sometimes it was hard to keep up with it because of subtitles but nonetheless it was still a beautiful movie and I enjoyed it
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Insanely awesome and alot of fun!
favianmytn24 September 2019
Let the film take you along for the ride and you'll have blast! The look, the humor, the action are all crazy and undeniably captivating. Would enjoy again.
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Perfect interpretation of the Chinese film in the pursuit of technology flow fallacy
yoggwork19 February 2019
Perfect interpretation of the Chinese film in the pursuit of technology flow fallacy. It was a blind krypton dog's eye to make movies full of local royalty in those days when bronze could only be melted. It's not explosions that have good effects, it's glittering eyes that make good pictures, it's not star lineups or good movies.
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Not god like
kosmasp27 December 2018
I'm not sure why a streaming service would only put an english dubbed version of this on their site. Especially a streaming service that has a lot of movies that are being shown in their original audio with subtitles. That aside (which actually makes the movie worse than I rated it), we have an attempt of a lot of show, with a lot of CGI.

Not the worst CGI you have seen, not the best either. And it seems to have been done with American money (which may be one reason why we get the dubbed version, still ...). The story is thin, but with all the effects and fights going on, you can't really expect there to be more.
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Great imagery poor storytelling
YesWeCan20172 March 2019
Maybe there's a translation issue, but it seemed like i was watching a parody of a vintage 'Monkey Magic' episode filmed at the Atlantis resort in Dubai
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ersbel26 December 2018
A 2016 movie with the production values, special effects, script, costumes, backgrounds and dialogue of a 2005 video game.
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