Noob Reviews: The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity
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.
What is The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity?
Released in 2020, Dream of Eternity is a stand-alone screen adaptation of the novel series entitled Onmyōji. Which was written by an author named Baku Yumemakura. And sees us introduced to one of the two incarnations of The Yin-Yang Master universe currently available on Netflix.
Set in a whimsical and beautiful magical China, men’s evil desires many centuries ago - gave birth to a great serpent demon. Luckily the great serpent was trapped by the magic of four masters, and the demon’s essence was imprisoned within a human host before it was able to escape the Imperial City and spread its corruption out into the world. Unfortunately, due to the serpent’s raw power, it regularly tests its boundaries and tries to escape its flesh prison as it continues to feed on the greed and desires of men - the more potent the desires, the more powerful the serpent becomes. Luckily, each time it does, four powerful martial arts masters are summoned to appease the serpent’s mythical guardians and ensure its plans to escape are thwarted.
… That was until now.
During the most recent threat of the serpent wishing to escape, it appears there are external forces in play that want to see humanity humbled and the great demonic serpent unleashed upon them to exact its revenge at been captured. And these forces will stop at nothing to see it released.
When one of the summoned masters is killed, and an assassination attempt is made on the Empress of the Imperial City, it falls to two rival masters, Qing Ming and Bo Ya. And the third surviving master (Longye). To investigate the events surrounding the death and failed assassination attempt. Whilst also seeking a way to ensure the serpent does not slip from its bonds and force its way back into the world.
What genre is the film?
The film is a well-balanced mix of action, drama and fantasy.
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 Masters: Dream of Eternity on Netflix here.
Although you can watch the film in original audio with subtitles, there are several translated audio versions available too - for those who may prefer the movie in, say, English audio.
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: Dream of Eternity?
Dream of Eternity is a brilliant title to add to the Asian cinema titles that are making it over to the West, and it really does have so much working for it in the right way. Many of the concepts, storylines and characters are new and refreshing - untouched by many of the carbon copy concepts we often have reappearing time after time in Western films. I also loved how demons were not frowned upon by all of the masters - and could be either good, evil or passive - finding it acceptable to let those around them live and let live as long as they did the same to them. Meaning that there was no clear cut boundary between good and evil as we are typically given. Personally, this made the film more fun as it was thought-provoking, and you had to look beyond a character’s appearance at their motivations and listen more closely to their story. Unfortunately, there are a few downsides in addition to the many great things about Dream of Eternity. For example, the story gets so in-depth and complex that it just becomes monotonous to follow at times and really dull. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part, the story is easy to follow, engaging and delivers many a plot twist and thrilling character arc, but it does have its dry patches.
When it comes to the cast, whether it was the main cast or the supporting roles. Everyone gave their scenes their all and delivered some truly memorable moments with heartfelt and powerful speeches. As well as stunning combat scenes that just flowed so organically from punch to punch, really embodying the level of skill that each of them was known for.
In addition to the story and the characters, the recreation of the Imperial City was spectacular. And the effects that bring not only the demon serpent to life, as it towers hundreds of feet above the streets below, but the demons too - are breathtaking. The effects are just next level impressive, and the beasts genuinely look as if they are a part of the scene instead of superimposed in or edited in after the fact.
Overall, Dream of Eternity was a great start to The Yin-Yang Master story and has really piqued my interest in the novel series the films are based on. Luckily, a second film has already been released in 2021, entitled The Yin-Yang Master, which is also available to watch on Netflix now (and I’ll be reviewing shortly). If you enjoy films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon / Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Monstrum or the show Kingdom - to name but a few. You will probably really enjoy this. Having already seen the second film and planning on writing the review right after this one, it’s not as good as the second entry. Still, it really makes a fantastic stand-alone entry and is a superior entry when put up against many other Netflix exclusives.
What rating would you give The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity?
I would rate The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity as a 4.2 out of 5 bananas.
Full of refreshing new ideas, views and beliefs - Dream of Eternity was a pleasure to watch and a film I will happily recommend to any and all. With strong human interest stories, fantastic action sequences and breathtaking filming locations, it has a little something for all.
Although the film does let itself down at times with overly complex webs of subplots thrown in amongst the main plot. That can really kill the pacing. It serves well to lay the foundations for The Yin-Yang Master universe and is a great look at one of the two versions of the universe currently available on Netflix. The second version of the universe, simply titled The Yin Yang Master, will be reviewed on Friday.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity and would like to check it out yourself to form your own opinion - you can find it on Netflix here.