Review: Kingdom (Fantasia Fest 2019)


Title: Kingdom
Rating: R
Director: Shinsuke Sato
Starring: Kento Yamazaki, Ryo Yoshizawa, Masami Nagasawa
Runtime: 2 hr 14 mins

What is it: A boy unites with a king to battle enormous armies, deadly assassins and a dangerous mountain clan in ancient China.

What we think: An interesting film and jam packed with energy and adventure albeit very confusing in the beginning with the storyline. I loved the small bit of animation that was featured in this film and I definitely loved the choreographed fighting scenes. I do have mixed feelings about the main character Xin. I liked and appreciated certain qualities of his character. For example, the loyalty to his friend and his drive and dedication to his training amongst other qualities. However, I’m unsure as to whether or not the constant screaming was simply supposed to be a trademark of the character’s personality and his character was just naturally very hotheaded or if Kento Yamazaki, the actor who portrays Xin, was simply using that as a way to express his character’s anger and grief. Either way, it seemed very easy to get a rise out of him since Xin was very good at getting angry considering how much he screamed throughout the film. This was something that admittedly got a little old. One would think that killing as many men as he did might actually release stress and calm him down a little but I guess not. Something that would have improved this film was if the details of the storyline were given a bit more smoothly and all in one place instead of bits of pieces of information scattered in the beginning of the film which did make following the film’s storyline a bit difficult and confusing. I was immensely impressed by the choreographed fighting scenes. The way Xin moved and fought really was a testament to his dedication to his training and ultimately his dream.

Our grade: B+, So this is a film full of adventure and great lessons for a lot of people who watch it. Despite certain character traits, this movie is a good family film overall. I would certainly recommend it! Shoutout to Fantasia Fest 2019 for letting us check out the film. 

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