A Writer’s Odyssey struggles to piece everything together during its ending, but it’s still a captivating journey from start to end.
A Writer’s Odyssey (刺杀小说家) Synopsis
Guan Ning is a broken man. His daughter was kidnapped six years ago. His obsession thereafter to find her also resulted in his wife leaving him. He does, however, have an unusual talent, this being the ability to throw powerful and deadly accurate projectiles. When the representative of a powerful media conglomerate approaches him with information about his daughter, in exchange for murder, he reluctantly agrees, despite his misgivings and disgust. Meanwhile, in a fantasy world, a young warrior named Kong Wen struggles to survive assassins sent after him by the god-like Lord Redmane. Mysteriously, impossibly, all that happens in this world mirrors the misadventures of Guan Ning and his hit target.
Years in the making, and based on the novels of Chinese writer Shuang Xuetao, A Writer’s Odyssey impresses with its ambitious story, CGI superiority, and superb acting.
Impresses, as well as captivates.
It’s a bit of a mishmash of everything, from Chinese Xianxia action to Marvel movie-like superpower fights. Thanks to great pacing, though, the story sinks in comfortably. It even manages to work in social commentary about unlawful surveillance and child trafficking. The latter one of the most horrific ills of post-modern China.
Naturally, with so many themes involved and intermixed, some suspension of belief, and questioning, are necessary. These, doubly so during the epilogue when the movie attempts to string everything together with a simplified explanation.
But it didn’t bother me too much. By that point, I’m satiated by the thrilling battles and chases. Suitably entertained by the comical antics of Dong Zijian too i.e. the writer in question.
I’ll add that this is one Asian production that’s well-worth a cinema ticket as well. Modern, historical, decrepit, fantasy, game-like China, it’s all there. All atmospherically presented.
And while the English title describes a certain clueless writer’s journey, the show is very much about your odyssey across these myriad lands too. It’s almost like a documentary featuring all the Chinas available for today’s cinematic entertainment.
Watch the trailer here
Check out my other snappy movie reviews.
Read my other Asian Movie Features.