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Magic Lotus Lantern

by Ryan He
Tian Di Bao Lian Deng
2021 / 71m - China
Magic Lotus Lantern poster

Though China has been consistently improving its genre output, reliance on CG remains a weak spot. For a film like Magic Lotus Lantern, that goes for a more fantasy-led story, that's still a bit of an issue. There's simply too much in the way of poor computer graphics to enjoy a simple genre film without being constantly reminded of its low-budget roots.

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The story is a pretty familiar one, with Yang Jian (a demigod) being banished from the realm of the gods, after he is suspected of trying to steal the magic lotus lantern. He has to continue his life on Earth as a mere mortal, all he can do is try to retrieve the lantern, but malicious forces are also chasing the magic item, as it can free them from their imprisonment.

The plot allows for quite a bit of fantasy/action fun, and the basic appeal is definitely there. It's just that the green screen CG is an eyesore, which means both the realm of the gods and the main bad guy look trite. Other than that, the film is short and well-paced, so genre fans would do well to give it a go. Just don't expect the world of it.