The opening few moments explore the backstory and world-building which then cuts to a small thing of beauty a snowflake. The camera follows the snowflake as it slowly floats in the wind and then lays on the open eye. We then pan out to reveal the great tragedy that has already unfolded from a battle that occurred off-screen. It then showcases Jizhou City and what could be its impenetrable border wall that is covered with a layer of sheer ice. We then see the Shang army as it leads its charge to overcome the Lord of Jizhou as they have started a revolt. That’s just a small glimpse of what becomes an incredible opening that leads into what can only be described as a thing of beauty.
What stands out right from the get-go is the location and costume design. Every location from rooms to cities to fields of wheat all have a vibrancy and vision to it that leads to every frame in this film being gorgeous and pulls you into this world in a captivating way. But on top of stunning locations, we have incredible music by Mengkezhuola and Gordy Haab. The soundtrack is used effectively to accompany the emotion of the scene. When moments of triumph occur the music flourishes and soars like a bird and when moments of despair the music slows down and amplifies the drama so well that it will pull at your heartstrings.
But going back to the story, what starts as a simple plot of greed and selfishness delves very quickly into gods and demons and the world falling to a great curse. While the story can get complex and has many moving parts to it the film does an excellent job at using its run time effectively. All the plot lines weave and flow together so well that I was never lost or confused about what was happening or who was who. I feel the film works so well narratively because of how immaculate the cast is. Everyone is truly perfect, there is not a single bad or even weak performance. Kris Phillips shines in every scene that he is in, and you go from pumping your fists for him to feeling true disgust for his character Yin Shou and Li Xuejian as Ji Chang continues to prove that he is a truly incredible actor. What cannot be overshadowed though is that all these elements would not have worked without the excellent direction of Wuershan. The way everything meshes is crafted by a master of their craft and leads to the excellent film that we have.
Creation of the Gods 1: Kingdom of Storms is a film like no other. It is a film that is the definition of epic. There was not a single dull moment, and this is the best fantasy film I have seen in a very long. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, shocking, and enthralling but most importantly it is one of the best films of 2023. I cannot wait to see the rest of this incredible story unfold in the upcoming films.
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