Looking at the poster, the first thing that caught my attention was the absence of actors like Fan Bingbing and Yang Mi. Halfway through, I remembered Li Zhiting's neon lights, which was a bit regrettable. It didn't really affect me though. At the beginning, I felt that Wang Duo's Qi La face was a bit round and lacked some flavor, but as the film progressed and different angles were shown, it looked much better. Surprisingly, the best performances were by Yi Yangqianxi and Wang Junkai, which were quite fitting for their characters.
There were still quite a few flaws.
After watching the whole film, the biggest flaw was that even though everyone was a mage, the battles still relied solely on physical combat. It wasn't until the appearance of Xiu Chuan Dizang and the apostles later on that there was a taste of soul art battles, which was quite satisfying. I guess magical battles require too much imagination and money, so it was a necessary compromise.
In addition, the overall medieval European style made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Let's have a mix of "East and West."
There were some logical issues and abrupt changes in emotions, which weakened the sense of immersion. For example, several people were "wanted," but they were able to meet in Tian Shu You Hua's mansion, which is unbelievable even in the real world, let alone in a world of soul art where gods fight. It's hard to convince people that the Silver Priest doesn't even have this level of intelligence. Another time, when everyone was discussing whether Qi Ling could go with Yin Chen, the initial serious atmosphere was reasonable since it was a matter of life and death, but after getting the consent of Lian Quan and Yin Chen, Qi Ling's behavior suddenly became playful, which made the whole atmosphere feel a bit strange. Additionally, in terms of level design, only Yin Chen and Qi Ling's talents could give Yin Chen a chance in the final level. If Qi Ling wasn't allowed to go, then Yin Chen wouldn't have any way out.
Another point is that the facial expressions of the characters were indeed lacking, which affected the viewing experience, but I was mentally prepared for this and managed to endure it. When the actors didn't need facial expressions, the camera focused on their faces, and the improvement in image quality was satisfying, especially seeing Fan Ge's stubble.
Also, in order to cater to the audience, some plot points were "explained" through flashbacks, but it didn't leave a good impression. For example, it was explained that only after the Marquis died could the master and disciple become stronger, and for Qi Ling, his hair would turn white. After that, Qi Ling's hair did change, but this flashback could have been shown through the main plot, and it's really not difficult for the audience to understand.
One thing that deserves praise is that some adjustments to the original work were reasonable.
For example, in the original work, the ambiguous feelings the apostles had towards the Marquis made people feel uncomfortable. In this film, the emphasis was on protecting this kind of emotion, which was a big improvement for me.
Having less dialogue and more fight scenes is a good approach, as I'm not a big fan of watching them act out dialogue, haha.
Being a fan of nostalgia is really difficult. The whole viewing process was just about holding on to see Gilgamesh for a moment. Finally seeing Gilgamesh's Four Noble Phantasms made me want to jump up. But looking at this situation, it should be quite difficult for Director Guo to raise funds for the next film. Give him a chance to make another one, I still want to see Gilgamesh.
Speaking of Gilgamesh, I had this feeling when I read the novel before, that the abilities of the characters throughout the book kept "inflating." For example, when they were in the tavern, some soul art masters were almost invincible in front of commoners, but when the Marquis and his disciples appeared, ordinary soul art masters became insignificant, and this inflation continued, with each Marquis becoming almost invincible and then even more powerful characters from the Wind Source appearing. It's as if this is the only way to capture the readers' desire to continue reading. I don't know how the novel or the movie will handle it later on. After Gilgamesh destroys everything, how will the plot progress? This is a big question mark for now.