WellGo USA continues to bring the top films from the Asian film market to the US. Their latest film, White Haired Witch looks to fuse the martial arts epic with hints of fantasy, but can it bring the desired world to life or will it be an invasion not worth being a part of?
White Haired Witch follows the twilight of the Ming Dynasty, where the Imperial court is plagued by corruption as tyrants rule over the land. With the Manchurians preying on a weakened empire, war is imminent. To save the victims from their suffering, sorceress Jade Raksha fights the soldiers that oppress people for their own gain. As payback, local government officials decide to pin the murder of Governor Zhuo Zhonglian on Jade, turning her and the members of her cult into wanted fugitives for a crime they didn’t commit. This movie wastes no time getting right into the meat of things with both action and sweeping landscapes to set the tone. There is a hefty amount of action at the beginning as all the players are introduced and the story is set in motion and then it slows down a bit letting the story play out a bit more in depth. There are some fantasy elements that aren’t completely explained, but instead just added as a part of this world, but never so far out there that you can’t buy into. The end shifts further into the supernatural, but at this point in the story you kind if expect it. Visually the movie is stunning filled with vibrant colors and sweeping landscapes that are almost characters of their own bringing that epic feel to the overall film. The insanely beautiful colors used help to not only make it visually pleasing to the eye, it also gives it that fairy tale love story feel that it needs to bring it all together. In the bigger picture this is still a martial arts period epic and delivers the action to perfection. There is a lot of the expected wire work that is done great, but there are some great just straight forward action pieces as well. While there is a bit of the empty hand fight sequences, this film focuses mostly on the sword play and does so with perfect precision making for some awesome action sequences.
While this is an action filled martial arts fantasy epic, the true beauty to this story is the love story that wraps it all together. There are some pacing issues here and there as well as some story elements that don’t work all the time, but as a whole this film delivers just about everything you could want in this genre.