Noob Reviews: The Yin Yang Master
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
Just as a side note, there are multiple spellings on the internet of The Yin Yang Master, with many spelling it The Yin Yang Master, some spelling it The Yinyang Master and others The Yin-Yang Master, like the first film. For the review, I have gone with the spelling as it appears on Netflix.
What is The Yin Yang Master?
Released in early 2021, The Yin Yang Master is the second film in Netflix’s The Yin-Yang Master Saga grouping of titles. However, it does not actually follow on from the events of The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity. Although Dream of Eternity did provide a lot of character back story. And a look at the world in which The Yin Yang Master is based. The storylines are quite different.
Bringing an entirely new storyline and brand new cast, The Yin Yang Master, is again based upon the Onmyōji novels by Baku Yumemakura, but this time sees us meeting the Yin Yang Master (Qing Ming) as he seeks to defend both the mortal and demon worlds to maintain a delicate balance between the two.
Unfortunately, it is not long before Qing Ming is forced to defend the realms from a new threat as the devious and scheming Cimu steals a powerful artefact known as the Scale Stone from the Yin Yang Bureau. And seeks to use its power to become a demon emperor who will lead the demons in a war against the humans and human-loving demons. Making way for an expanded pure demon kingdom under his control.
Along the way, in addition to Qing Ming, we are introduced to the highly skilled and efficient soldier Yuan Boya - who some of Qing Ming’s charges may or may not have stolen an imperial tribute from. Bai Ni - to whom Qing Ming has pledged his loyalty - who is investigating the theft of the Scale Stone from the bureau. And a secret self-sustaining garden of demon outcasts who Qing Ming has taken under his wing to look after and protect - ensuring they walk the path of good as opposed to becoming corrupt versions of themselves and turning on the innocent.
Needless to say, there are many character arcs and subplots delicately and intricately woven into magnificent webs around the core story.
What type of genre is the film?
The Yin Yang Master is a very well balanced mix of action, adventure, and drama wrapped up neatly in a fantasy setting.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Netflix Asia’s YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can also find The Yin Yang Master on Netflix here.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a complete cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think about The Yin Yang Master?
At first, when watching The Yin Yang Master, I was a little disappointed that it did not follow on directly from the Dream of Eternity as the Netflix listing had suggested, but I was happily pleased the more I watched - to learn that not only was this a new story, but it took all of the components that made Dream of Eternity work so well and improved upon them.
Although the cast for The Yin Yang Master is entirely new, as with the first, each and every member. Leading role or supporting. Gave their screen time their all. The actors and actresses were fantastic. The voice acting for the demons was executed perfectly. And although he is a demon of few words, I really loved the energy and enthusiasm of a monster nicknamed Red - who our band of heroes meet in a demonic fighting arena. Overall, the delivery level, comedic timing, and chemistry between the characters were fantastic to see and really helped build a level of interest and immersion in the film that made time fly.
When it comes to the story for The Yin Yang Master, there is still a lot going on regarding character development, story arcs and subplots. Still, unlike Dream of Eternity, they do not become muddled and overly complicated. Each strand of the story is played out beautifully so you can see how it all fits together and yet not miss out on anything. There are no ‘dry patches’ or a lack of pace, just a consistent want to see what happens next and what plot twist will appear next.
Regarding the special effects, they are just as polished and fantastically executed as Dream of Eternity; the demons look amazing. The demon serpent, which (spoilers) makes a return, is even more chill-inducing and manipulative. And the choreography between the action sequences and fight scenes is so well planned and polished they just captivate you and demand your attention.
Although there have been mixed reviews about The Yin Yang Master, unlike Dream of Eternity, I can not pick fault with anything as I thoroughly enjoyed it start to finish and will highly recommend it as worth a watch to anyone who will listen. As I said above, The Yin Yang Master takes all of the elements of Dream of Eternity that worked well and simply improves upon them, and I hope that with a solid five-star rating across the board - you will take a leap of faith and give the film a watch.
Just as a quick note, like the original Dream of Eternity, The Yin Yang Master comes in both an original audio with subtitles and dubbed audio too to cater to a wide variety of viewers.
What rating would you give The Yin Yang Master?
I would rate The Yin Yang Master as a solid 5 out of 5 bananas.
With a fascinating look into Qing Ming’s origins, a brilliant antagonist in the form of Cimu and a story that will make you question the definition of good and evil - The Yin Yang Master is back and better than ever. With a robust ranking of five stars across the board, I dare say that this has been one of my most loved films of 2021 so far, and I hope that the misleading ‘The Yin-Yang Master Saga’ comes to fruition and Netflix do commission additional titles in the franchise.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in The Yin Yang Master and would like to check it out yourself, to form your own opinion - you can find it on Netflix here.