Painted Skin (2008)

Wei Zhao (Shaolin Soccer, Warriors of Heaven and Earth) plays Peirong, married to General Wang Sheng (Kun Chen), who brings a rescued girl called Xiao Wei (Xun Zhou) back home and places her in his household. She falls in love with him. At the same time, some mysterious murders occur, where the heart is cut out of the body. painted-skin

Gorgeous Wei Zhao as Peirong

Donnie Yen plays Pang Yong, former hero, former friend of Wang Cheng, and former suitor to Peirong, who turns up half dead after wandering the desert. Peirong wants him to find out who is cutting out hearts, and in this quest he is joined by a cute demon hunter called Xia Bing (Li Sun). She is hunting Xiao Wei and her cute cohort Xiao Yi (Oi Yuwu). They are both demons, and Xiao Yi is doing the heart harvesting to feed Xiao Wei. She is a seductive fox spirit and if she doesn’t get her daily ration of fresh human heart, she won’t be able to stay young and beautiful.

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There’s more to this foxy lady than meets the eye

My son-in-law, the male component of the viewing audience, was deeply disappointed. While there were moments of enjoyable horror (Xiao Wei peeling off her skin was a highlight) there are certain male expectations of a Donnie Yen movie, and a romantic chick flick isn’t one of them. Donnie does get to do a bit of flying swordplay, but it’s woefully inadequate, according to our male, and does not make up for a movie that moves like (to quote Way of the Warrior) ‘like molasses in January.” On the other hand, my daughter and I enjoyed it.

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Love G Dragon’s new ‘do

Well, yes, it is slow, but utterly gorgeous. The girls have porcelain skin an d are as different from each other as a fox and a dove – Xiao Wei is as selfish and wicked as Peirong is dutiful and good – and Xia Bing is a poster girl for the rest of us. It’s fun to watch Donnie Yen being a light romantic hero for a change, even if he is more Jack Black than Jude Law, and Kun Chen as the General more than makes up for Yen’s ineptness in the romantic stakes. Chen is gorgeous – in fact when he appears in a dream sequence with long floating hair, he looks just like Vodka from I Heart You Pare.

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Vodka with a V

It’s not at all what it looks to be – and I have no idea where the ‘painted skin’ of the title comes in, but it’s a very beautiful and romantic take on the fox myth – just warn any males in the party that this is not the usual Donnie Yen movie.

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Donnie gets his mojo on – briefly

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