Nezha 3D Movie Review
Written By: Krista Strom
With most films we’re here to help you decide if you want to see a film in 3D or not, but with this film that’s largely not even a choice. Most theaters are only showing Nezha in IMAX 3D. Actually, that’s not entirely true – most theaters aren’t showing this movie at all. I had to go out of my way to be able to see this movie, and I live in a large urban area. With a movie this hard to find and in a foreign language, the question you’re asking yourself probably isn’t whether you should see this movie in 3D - it’s whether you should see this movie at all. And I have your answer: Yes! A million times yes. Firstly, this movie is gorgeous. The visual style is so different from anything produced in the west that I can think of. If anything, it reminds me a bit of Lakia movies like Kubo and The Two Strings, but since this movie is in CG and not stop motion, it really is uniquely its own. Everything is so full of color and depth and life that you almost forget you’re watching a movie and that this isn’t happening all right in front of you. In particular, the scenes inside the painting are themselves a work of art. The grass, the clouds, the water – all feel like you could reach out and touch them. This is everything that’s right about 3D film. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel discouraged about the state of 3D – with Hollywood often treating it just as a quick cash grab - but its films like Nezha that actually give me hope. If you need any proof that 3D is an art form and not just a gimmick, Nezha is it. Just in case you were wondering I had no problems with the subtitles and the 3D aspect of this film. You won’t regret watching this movie in 3D.
Final Verdict: Great 3D & Editors Choice 3D Award
Nezha follows the story of the titular character Nezha (or Ne Zha), who is a traditional Chinese deity, and includes other characters drawn from Chinese folklore – and as such the film has a ton of religious symbolism that mostly flew right over my head. Not understanding all of the cultural and/or religious nuance did not impact my enjoyment of this great movie. This is an extremely well written movie. This is the kind of movie you will want to watch again and again.
On it’s most basic level, Nezha is fundamentally a story about fate, but I think it’s also a story about the bonds that tie people together. Nezha is born cursed because he is the incarnation of the “demon pearl” and is fated to be destroyed by the heavens. Similarly Au Bing – who looks suspiciously like Legolas from The Lord of the Rings movies - is the reincarnation of the “spirit pearl” and Nezha’s equal and opposite. Both Nezha and Au Bing experience their own hardships and are eventually brought together and become friends, but their friendship is a star-crossed one as they are ultimately fated to be enemies. It is their ties not only to each other, but also to their respective families and upbringings that drive the emotion behind the story and pull your heartstrings in every possible direction.
My only major complaint with this movie is that their Buddha-like character , Taiyi. Nezha’s teacher Taiyi Zhenren, is constantly the butt of fat jokes. Of the things I would have liked to spread to China via western media, fat shaming is definitely not one of them. Still, the good heavily outweighs the bad here, to the point where I can forgive a couple of cheap fat jokes because the story more than makes up for it in heart and craft. I can’t however, forgive it for making me cry in public.
In closing Nezha is a movie for everyone. If you like kung fu or action movies, you’ll like this movie. If you like fantasy and magic, you’ll like this movie. Hell, if you like coming of age stories or dragons or just super writing you’ll like this movie. If you can manage to find a theater in your area showing it, go see this movie. It is so worth it, for so many reasons. Simply put Nezha is just a really, really excellent movie. This movie is a masterpiece and I love it .
Final Verdict: 10/10
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