The Promise

In theaters.

I'm a sucker for Chinese martial arts fantasies, the sort of movies in which warriors fly the air, so courageous and passionate that even the laws of physics can't bind them to the ground. The previews for The Promise made me smile with anticipation. Gorgeous costumes, dance-like battles, mythic stories, and a tragic woman escaping from a birdcage — what's not to love?

A lot, as it turns out. The Promise is no feast for the eyes; it's cheap fast food: synthetic, flavorless and dull.