10 Worst Chinese Movies in Second Half of 2012

Last year was a record-breaking year at mainland China’s box office, but it was also a year that provided us with glaringly awful comedies, dumb romantic stories, and embarrassing CGI effects. The following list is Sohu’s top ten picks for this year’s worst films in the second half of 2012 and what the critics had to say.

Worst The GuillotinesWorst Tears in Heaven

10. The Guillotines <血滴子>

Director: Andrew Lau
Starring: Huang Xiaoming, Ethan Juan, Li Yuchun, Shawn Yue

The Guillotines was once considered to be the most anticipated film of the year. Huang Xiaoming was no longer portraying a spoiled brat, and Li Yuchun was finally a woman. With a movie about a group of secret imperial assassins, we expected many fights, betrayals, battles of wits, and snarky drama, but the film turned out to be merely a gratuitous period version of Young and Dangerous <古惑仔>. It was not even a good adaptation too.

9. Tears in Heaven <新妈妈再爱我一次>

Director: Kim Seok Hun
Starring: Lu Yi, Sally Jing, Mini Bin

Bad screenwriting and expressionless acting; it is a romance film that lacks heart and love. Not even South Korea’s best director at romance could save this movie. The good side of it was that Lu Yi and Sally Jing were not bad to look at. Mini Bin was also very adorable.

Worst Tai Chi HeroWorst Jia Wu Da Hai Zhan

8. Tai Chi Zero <太極1從零開始>

Director: Stephen Fung
Starring: Jayden Yuan, Angelababy, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Eddie Peng

Adding a steampunk twist to a classic martial arts movie may sound refreshing and revolutionary. The teaser trailers make the film seem as if it would be a video gamer’s paradise, but do not let those flashy special effects deceive you. Tai Chi Zero  really was not that great of a movie. Jayden Yuan makes a terrible lead actor. The action choreography is surprisingly underwhelming, and the graphics could have been better. However, credits must be given to director and writer Stephen Fung for at least trying something different.

7. Jia Wu Da Hai Zhan <甲午大海战>

Director: Feng Xiaoning
Starring: Lu Yi, Yang Lixin, Xia Yu, Sun Haiying

For an epic war film whose main focus is about China’s supreme navy, the film was terribly un-epic, low-budget, and insipid. It does not matter if you gather the best of the best actors in China – if you have a bad script, no one can save it.

Worst The AssassinsThe Zodiac Mystery

6. The Assassins <铜雀台>

Director: Zhao Linshan
Starring: Chow Yun Fat, Crystal Liu, Hiroshi Tamaki, Alec Su

Many ancient Chinese historians must be crying their eyes out when this movie released. Historical inaccuracy aside, this film was just a big piece of epic nothing. You get nothing out of this film. None of the characters were likeable, and likewise, the story itself was not likable.

5. The Zodiac Mystery <十二星座离奇事件>

Director: Sheng Zhimin
Starring: David Tong, Gan Wei, Qin Hao, Kimi Qiao

Think of this movie as a television episode. Think of this movie as a hilarious low-budget Halloween special of a television episode. Think of this movie as a television episode that had 30 minutes of relevant but uninteresting content and 40 minutes of unnecessary content and random fillers. Yes, that is The Zodiac Mystery in a big nutshell.

Worst Holding LoveWorst The Four

4. Holding Love <Hold住爱>

Director: Zhang Qi
Starring: Yang Mi, Hawick Lau, Chrissie Chau

It is the battle of the boobs between Chrissie Chau and Yang Mi! It is the battle of who can write the best short story at your elementary school’s young author’s competition!  It does not matter how sexy and cute the cast is, when you go to the cinemas to watch this movie, you come out of it with a lower IQ. It is guaranteed.

3. The Four <四大名捕>

Director: Gordon Chan, Janet Chun
Starring: Deng Chao, Crystal Liu, Ronald Cheng, Collin Chou

The only good thing about this film was that it had one of the coolest opening sequences of the year. Other than that, there were no good memories. It was a nice change to see a female hero for once, and it was awesome to know that the film combined American comic superheroes with traditional Chinese wuxia, but that does not justify that The Four was possibly one of the worst movies of the year. Even Spongebob made more sense than this movie.

Worst The Lion Roars AgainWorst Wu Dang

2. The Lion Roars 2 <河東獅吼2>

Director: Joe Ma
Starring: Cecilia Cheung, Xiao Shenyang, Zhao Benshan

This is a sequel that none of us asked for. The original The Lion Roars was hilarious, but was a sequel necessary? No. Besides, The Lion Roars 2 is only a sequel in name only. Besides Cecilia Cheung, The Lion Roars 2 featured none of the original cast. With bad acting, bad gags, and just bad everything, watching this just is not worth your time. The Four was stupid, but at least it had decent special effects and was at most an entertaining popcorn flick.The Lion Roars 2 had neither.

1. Wu Dang <大武當之天地密碼>
Director: Patrick Leung

Starring: Vincent Zhao, Yang Mi, Louis Fan, Xu Jiao

This unfortunate film makes the list as number one because it had the potential to do so much more, yet it had none. Vincent Zhao is a great fighter, but he had little to no chemistry with the young Yang Mi. And let us not talk about the so-called “romance” between 39-year-old Louis Fan and 15-year-old Xu Jiao. Absolutely disgusting! With such bad direction, bad acting, horrible action choreography, and embarrassing special effects, this movie definitely tops the list as China’s worst film of 2012.

Source: Sohu.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Tai Chi Zero, to me, was the best out of this list. It was underwhelming but at least it tried to do something new.

  2. hahah i know, when i saw the other day that yang mi’s made the box office i was like what the hell, that movie w/the b/f was so horrible and still it sells? haha..good thing it made the list here, utube had it and i skipped 5 mins from the start. the cute looking cast cant even save a bad script, directing or whatever else.

  3. So.. Holding Love. Yang Mi. Chrissy Chau… and the “battle of the boobs?”

    Does such a movie need a plot? lol…

  4. I didn’t watch Lion Roars 2. Now that I know it’s not really a sequel, I don’t want to watch it. Yang Mi is popular in the idol world. She should return and film idol dramas.

    1. The Lion Roars 2, just wierd,,,I am like,,who she think she is? she ruin all the second marriage of anyone in the town?,,, I don’t even think the King allow to do that

    1. Well, I just got it, but haven’t watched it, now I definitely don’t need to watch it lol

  5. that picture of yang mi in the wu dang poster does not look like her at all

  6. Lol some of those reviews are brutal. I disagree with the Tai Chi 0 review though. I am so sick of directors using fast cuts and super zoomed in shots to disguise crappy martial arts. Tai Chi at least had some zoomed out stuff that you could actually see what was going on and tell that some of the actors knew what they were doing. Guillotines almost made me puke from all the fast cuts with random shots of mechanical weapons zoomed in. I wanted so bad to like that movie but the way it was shot was awful – same with The Four’s action scenes.
    It’s like they know the action scenes suck so they zoom in and fast cut on purpose to try to hide that. I know it’s not true since some decent action choreographers worked for those movies. They must weep every time they watch a screening of something they worked on. So much skill is wasted in trying to look arty/edgy/cool.

    I hope to god Grandmasters doesn’t do that since Tony Leung worked so hard for it.

  7. Only watched Guillotines and Tai Chi Zero/Hero. I was disappointed with G because it was so hyped up. The guillotines in this movie were more like 21st century inventions than what they were previously. Although some effects were good , most were over the top. Concentration was on ‘kill and cover up’ and if they had expanded more on the human nature/feelings of the individuals, might have more ‘soul’ to the movie.

    Tai Chi Zero/Hero wasn’t too bad, just a little too much of cgi. Yuan is a newbie and I thought he wasn’t too bad, action choreography could be better if they had put someone with true martial arts background for Angelababy’s character. She’s so tiny (tho the costumes did help to fill her up), her execution isn’t up to par. Stephen Fung’s idea was good but should stick to the traditional wuxia and cut the steam-punk bit.

    I’m a fan of Chow Yun Fatt and Hawick Lau and also enjoy Ronald Cheng, Vincent Zhao but since I missed these other movies without much regret (i.e. before this ‘list’ came up), perhaps my intuition was correct.

  8. All mainland movies in bottom 10
    While Hk movies was in top 10
    That just summed it up

    1. I never really liked mainland movies due to their mediocre scripts, dubbing, poor production and costumes. Mainland dramas are okay though.

    2. I don’t think ‘The Guillotines’ is a Mainland movie. The version I watch in the cinema is in Cantonese (which surprised me). The producer is Andrew Lau and the director is Peter Chan iirc.

      The cast consisted of Mainland, HK and Taiwan actors.

    3. Well, Sohu is a mainland Chinese website, so not surprising that their picks are dominated by mainland films.

  9. I just watch ‘The Guillotines’ yesterday in the cinema. I like it. I don’t think it deserves the top 10 worst movies spot. I guess I’m the minority. My 2 friends who went with me think it’s only so-so. One found it boring.

    I don’t find it similar to Y&D. It is true that it’s not your typical action movie. But, I think the drama and storyline is good. I did feel for the characters. Lastly, you have Huang Xiao Ming looking like Jesus. Haha.

    1. Haha that’s the first thought that I had when I first saw him too. He would make an awesome Jesus.

    2. Everyone’s opinion can be different. Some critics just go overboard with the bashing. You’ll have to take their word with a grain of salt, especially when they just make statements without explaining why or how it could have been done better.

  10. I’m not up to date with the latest Chinese slang… what does ‘Hold住” mean and how did it become a popular term?

    1. It means ‘hang in there’, ‘hang 10’, or plainly ‘hold it’ 🙂

  11. Wasn’t Vincent Zhao in tvb Master of Tai Chi? He looks old now!

  12. so… watched Holding Love yesterday… it, indeed, deserved to be on this list.

    1. TVBFanatic,
      Haha thanks for validating Holding Love’s place on thelist. Are you doing that for the other movies too or only movies with cute leads?

      1. Have to admit, the two female leads sold the film to me, but what a waste of time. -.- I think that the idea was cute, and I’m sure there is a good movie plot in there somewhere… but the execution and over the top acting just lead to more /facepalm moments then actual enjoyment. I was so glad when the movie was over.

        It’s not easy finding these films with English Subs where I am… all the movies in the Chinese stores are rips of DVDs, and they almost NEVER include the English subs. I have, however, managed to find the Assassins and The Four with subs… but haven’t watched them just yet. My better half and I have been finishing up a couple drama series before we head back to movies.

  13. I do agree that wu dang was WTF… It was really bad with the love between Louis Fan and Xu Jiao… Totally WRONG! Also Yang Mi and Vincent Jiao really did not have chemistry… I totally agree with The four too. It was like WTF… Actually alot of the movies these days are WTF. Not really good ones. Just oh ok its a movie.

  14. FIRST – please forgive me in that I don’t have the names of the characters or the real titles of the groups etc… I don’t speak Mandarin, so when I watch these movies I know characters by visual recognition only 😛
    Watched the Four last night… and yes, it is easy to see how this movie was influenced by the X-Men. However, both my better half and I really enjoyed it. I thought it had pretty solid plot development, and the story unfolded really well. There were a few holes here and there to maintain the storyline, like why the Celestial detectives didn’t believe the mind reader after all the time she’d been with them, but even then, they tried to explain that away as her being jealous. You would think, however, that they would know her better than that.

    Pacing was slow at times as well, but otherwise, it kept my attention from start to end. It’s easily a movie I would recommend to my friends (but then again, we are all fans of hero based comic books :))

    I thought the movie also had great characters. I thought that the lead of the female 6 did an especially good job. You could read in her face several times the internal battle she was fighting between doing what she needed to in order to get ahead… and doing what she felt was right. I also liked that she left no debt unpaid.

    I don’t want to spoil it… so I’ll just say that I thought the ending was well done as well.

    Probably the only sore spot in the movie for me was the way the primary evil character was portrayed. They wanted to show that he was “mad” with power… but instead, he pretty much acted like a lunatic… I felt a stronger, colder, cooler portrayal would have made that character more fearsome.

    So personally, I wouldn’t place the 4 on this list myself.. it’s probably one of the best I’ve seen for 2012. I found the plot very interesting and followed it without issue. Solid acting as well for the most part.

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