Review Date: 1/28/18
Thousands of years from now, technology has been sealed away and the people of Earth have reverted back to a much more primitive way of life, which essentially mirrors "The World Of Martial Arts" from old wuxia novels. An old man named Alayam travels from tribe to tribe with a young girl named Joma, singing songs about history and making sure the legends of old don't die. When the demon Wushen awakens from his thousand-year confinement, he devotes himself to reviving the "ancient magic" so that he can rule the world. However, Joma has been chosen by the Kelsang goddess to defeat Wushen, so she and a group of companions travel to the forbidden land of Kuger to stop Wushen before it's too late.
Based on a Tibetan fable about the dangers of technology, the premise is interesting, but the execution is a confusing mess of sloppy storytelling and eye-popping visuals. I'm sure that cultural barriers are partly responsible, but I found the story to be extremely disjointed and difficult to follow. Random scenes are tossed in that serve no purpose, and the flow is awkward at best. It's also overly talky, and all of the characters are fond of making long-winded speeches. While the film is pretty to watch, the computer animation is choppy and feels about ten years behind the state-of-the-art, which gives it an unintentionally cheap look. This seems to be pretty common with Chinese CGI for some reason, and I don't know if it's a cultural thing or a budget thing. The visuals are extremely imaginative and the various creatures are uniquely horrifying, but the film suffers from relying too much on spectacle and sensationalism instead of practicality. As a whole, the film is a bit tedious and I had a hard time remaining engaged. None of the characters are particularly interesting, so I had very little emotional investment in their adventures or the story they were trying to tell.