The Sorcerer and the White Snake

September 28, 2011 0 By Fans
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The Sorcerer and the White SnakeThe Sorcerer and the White SnakeThe Sorcerer and the White SnakeThe Sorcerer and the White Snake


Description: Action director Ching Siu-Tung helms this fantasy film based on an old Chinese legend about…

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 5.7/10 (1,793 voted)

Siu-Tung Ching

Stars: Jet Li, Shengyi Huang, Raymond Lam

Description: Action director Ching Siu-Tung helms this fantasy film based on an old Chinese legend about an herbalist who falls in love with a thousand-year-old White Snake disguised as a woman. Jet Li stars as a sorcerer who discovers her true identity and battles to save the man's soul.


Jet Li

Abott Fahai

Shengyi Huang

White Snake

Raymond Lam

Xu Xian

Charlene Choi

Green Snake

Zhang Wen

Neng Ren

Vivian Hsu

Snow Goblin

Miriam Yeung Chin Wah

Rabbit Devil

Kar-Ying Law

Mysterious Herbalist

Suet Lam

Chicken Devil

Chapman To

Toad Monster

Sonija Kwok

Bu Ming

Alfred Hsing


Wu Jiang

Turtle Devil


Official Website:
Official site [China] |

Release Date: 28 September 2011

Box Office Details

Budget: HKD 200,000,000


Opening Weekend: PHP 3,213,469
(2 October 2011)
(38 Screens)

Gross: PHP 5,718,490
(9 October 2011)

Technical Specs



Did You Know?


In an interview with the entire cast of the movie, Jet Li mentioned that he got tricked into accepting the role. The producer supposedly convinced him that he didn't have to fight a lot, but it turned out to be the opposite.


Xu Xian:
Can meet with you, I don't what good luck had struck me. Just because of your single kiss I believe that the wheels of fate had turned. Just because of that moment, the moment was filled with sweet and happiness. From now on, every minute and every moment, I will protect you always and let you happy for life.

User Review

Richly entertaining brew of fantasy, romance and CGI reminiscent of the best supernatural action extravanganzas of the '80s and '90s


We're pretty sure many of you will agree that seeing Jet Li's name on
the poster of this action fantasy epic is enough to convince you to
catch this movie- after all, besides Donnie Yen, we can't think of a
bigger martial arts actor in Asia today. What's more, ever since
announcing that 'Fearless' would be his last 'wushu' movie back in
2006, Jet Li hasn't been as prolific as before- his previous leading
role was in the tearjerker 'Ocean Heaven'- so this latest represents a
return of sorts to the kind of movie that we love to see him in.

The tale here is a familiar Chinese fable about the forbidden romance
between a simple kind-hearted man and a snake demon who takes the form
of a beautiful woman (previous screen incarnations include the Shaw
Bros' 'Madam White Snake' and Tsui Hark's 'Green Snake'). And like
action maestro and sometimes-director Tony Ching Siu-Tong's directorial
debut 'A Chinese Ghost Story', it is set amidst a fantasy world where
both humans and demons roam, with the latter taking on human form to
deceive the former.

An action-packed opening sequence where Jet Li's sorcerer-monk Fahai-
together with his protégé Neng Ren (Wen Zhang)- defeats the dangerously
alluring Ice Witch (Vivian Hsu) establishes the malevolent nature of
the demons, as well as Fahai's mission to vanquish those who threaten
the lives of humans. It also serves as fair warning that this latest
adaptation of the 'White Snake' legend is not simply an '80s-throwback
(a la Wilson Yip's remake of 'A Chinese Ghost Story' earlier this
year), but rather a 21st- century treatment using the latest advances
in CGI to create some lavish backdrops for the multiple elaborate
action sequences.

And warning indeed it is, for you'd best be advised to temper your
expectations about the visual effects on display. Yes, while the
booming China film industry can now easily rival its Hollywood
counterpart on scale and spectacle, it still has a long way to go when
it comes to CG imagery- and the amateurish special effects within the
very first sequence will tell you as much. Thankfully, it gets better-
and we mean much better- as the movie progresses, even managing to
impress by the time it reaches the climactic showdown between Fahai and
the White Snake.

Still, the strength in Tony Ching's film lies not in its showcase of
modern-day CG techniques, but rather in its old-fashioned love story
between 'White Snake' Bai Suzhen (Eva Huang) and young herbalist Xu
Xian (Raymond Lam). This is the equivalent of 'Romeo and Juliet' for
the Chinese audience, and Tony knows how to push the right buttons to
engender a sweet affecting romance between the two leads. Much of the
credit also goes to William Chang's vivid costume design and Zhai Tao's
rich production design, which successfully create a fantastically
beautiful landscape to evoke the passion behind the human-snake

There is also a surprisingly potent dose of humour in the screenplay by
Zhang Tan, Tsan Kan-cheong and Szeto Cheuk-hon. Rather than let the
film drown in its own seriousness, the trio inject some playfulness
into their treatment of the fantasy. Neng Ren's transformation into a
bat demon after being poisoned by one brings much levity to the
proceedings, and Xu Xian's encounter with Suzhen's animal-turned-human
'parents' (Chapman To, Miriam Yeung and Lam Suet gleefully hamming it
for broad laughs) is particularly campy but hilarious. Despite the
slapstick, Tony maintains a firm grasp of the film's tone, and
alternates between comedy, romance and drama with ease and confidence.

The same dexterity can also be said of his work as action director on
the film, especially in his ability at integrating rather seamlessly
the movements of his cast and the special effects added
post-production. A battle between Fahai and Neng Ren against the
bat-demon on Mid-Autumn night is an excellent case-in-point- ditto for
the extended climax between Fahai and the White Snake set in the middle
of the ocean. Admittedly however, none of the action sequences are
particularly memorable- mostly because Jet Li only gets to spar against
either a green screen or against 'green' martial arts actors like Eva
Huang and Charlene Choi.

Still, Jet Li's stately presence shines through despite the CG
distractions, and his undimmed screen charisma overcomes the
shortcomings of the slightly underwritten role. The surprise here is
however Eva's spirited (pardon the pun) performance, lively, vivacious
and genuinely affecting in her demonstration of the White Snake's deep
love for Xu Xian. Her Hong Kong counterparts Charlene and Raymond
however pale far in comparison- their ho-hum performances of their
essentially one-note characters easily forgettable.

But in spite of these shortcomings, this remains a richly entertaining
brew of fantasy, romance and CGI- the supernatural world is vividly
realised, the romance is surprisingly affecting and the CGI is also
commendable by the standards of Chinese cinema. Much better than this
year's 'Chinese Ghost Story' attempt at resurrecting the once-
flourishing supernatural action genre, Tony Ching's latest is a
sumptuous treat for the imagination. And of course, given the rarity of
watching Jet Li in action on the big screen these days, 'The Sorcerer
and the White Snake' deserves to be seen by his fans- even if it may
not be his best work.