One day, a young herbalist Xu Xian comes to the mountains and accidentally falls into a lake. The White Snake, in the incarnation of a beautiful lady, comes to his rescue. Her passion for this young man cannot be contained, and with the help of the Green Snake, she ventures into the human world and gets married to Xu Xian. Fahai from Jinshan Temple, whose mission is to subdue demons and slay monsters, arrives in town and detects a touch of evil from the medicine provided by Xu Xian. Xu Xian makes the White Snake drink some sulphur-flower wine during the Dragon Boat Festival, and the lady immediately turns into a big white snake. Fa Hai comes to subdue White Snake but in the confusion, Xu Xian uses a sacred sword and wounds his beloved one. The White Snake escapes with serious injury. Xu Xian is grief-stricken and tries to make a remedy by risking his life to obtain a spirit grass for his wife. Xu Xian gets the grass but is possessed by demons. In order to save him, Fahai keeps him in Jinshan Temple. After taking the spirit grass, the White Snake regains her strength and power and rushes to Jinshan Temple for her husband. She is overcome with rage after failing to enter the Temple. In extreme frenzy, she summons up a flood over the temple causing death and destruction. –Venice Film Festival
Ching Siu-tung (born 1953), also known as Tony Ching, is a Hong Kong action choreographer, actor, film director and producer, who has directed over 20 films, including the critically acclaimed supernatural fantasy A Chinese Ghost Story (1987).
Ching began as an actor and martial arts instructor working in Hong Kong action cinema in the 1960s and 1970s (his father, Ching Gong, was a Shaw Brothers Studio director, and Ching Siu-tung had been trained in Peking opera as a child), but he made his directorial debut in 1982 with the ground-breaking wuxia classic Duel to the Death.
Ching worked with producer Tsui Hark on 1987’s A Chinese Ghost Story, which became an international sensation, although it was usually Tsui Hark who took most of the plaudits. He continued to work with Tsui Hark, directing sequels to that film in 1990 and 1991, and co-directing all three parts of the Swordsman series, starting in 1990. Other directorial highlights included the highly successful Royal… read more
At this point, both Jet Li and his director Ching Siu-tung are living legends of Hong Kong cinema. There's no reason they shouldn't be allowed to retire gracefully from the screen. Alright, perhaps they both still have a passion for what they do - that doesn't mean they should subject their fans to tripe like this. "The Sorcerer" is overstuffed with subpar CGI and offers very little of what people want to see in a Jet Li movie - you know: action, excitement, Jet Li's character actually mattering to the plot. "The Sorcerer" wants to be all things to all people, trying to match computer-assisted fight scenes with "Chinese Ghost Story"-style romantic melodrama and cutesy talking animals right out of a Pixar movie. Instead, it only succeeds in boring the viewer for (a very long) 95 minutes.
Yet another cinematic take on the white snake legend. The previous one, Green Snake with Maggie Cheung, wasn't all that great, and neither is this one. The romance aspect has a nice Chinese Ghost Story vibe to it, but the sloppy storytelling and overreliance on dodgy CGI ensure that the movie never really goes anywhere. A disappointment.
For some, a deluge of CGI drowns Tony Ching’s latest; others have simply kicked back and enjoyed the ride.