New Gods: Nezha Reborn (新神榜:哪吒重生): Movie Review

"New Gods: Nezha Reborn" was a visual and thrilling treat from start to finish. Featuring countless fights and huge setpieces that can rival any blockbuster superhero film out in the wild, it also has the same formulaic beats. Although the film doesn't really present anything unique to viewers, its still action-packed and fun through and through.
The normal citizens of Donghai are struggling as there has been a water shortage so much so that water is now more valuable than gold. The city's water is controlled by the powerful Dragon Clan who is rich, powerful, and manipulative at their core. Li Yunxiang is an orinary man who works as a smuggler to make ends meet. He accidentally meets the son of the Dragon Clan who takes interest in his motorcycle. Li refuses to give his bike and in the process gets himself seriously hurt. About to die in the hands of the Dragon Clan, he suddenly bursts into flames revealing a power within himself he has never known about - the primordial spirit of the powerful boy-god Nezha is within him. With the reincarnation of a god within him, can Li finally find the path to goodness and heroism?
"New Gods: Nezha Reborn", at its core, is a superhero origin story so expect it to feel very familiar elements and character developments when it comes to main narrative. It's not a bad thing as this formula has proven to work good enough time and again. But what we're trying to say here is that this film will be very predictable so don't expect any surprises. What sets the film apart is the mythos behind the powers of our characters. Donghai City has a very unique world. One that is a mix of modern and vintage elements, of technology and gods. If you know the video game "Final Fantasy XV", then the world "New Gods: Nezha Reborn" is pretty close to that one. Likewise, the visual effects gave off video game vibes at times and while it had mixed visual effects (scenes tended to vary in quality), the film was highly-entertaining and well-shot when it came to its numerous chase scenes and fight scenes. As for its narrative, the story was just okay. The explanation on gods and reincarnation was a little bit too much at times for our tastes and the almost two hour runtime could have been trimmed down a bit. Overall all though, "New Gods: Nezha Reborn" was a complete surprise. We are at a point where Chinese-made films can easily rival what Hollywood has to offer and this film was a clear example of that fact.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- highly-entertaining from start to finish - the unique and breathtaking Donghai City was a character in itself

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the two hour runtime could have been trimmed down - the visual quality varied from scene to scene

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