Donnie Yen’s “Iceman 3D” Criticized for Unrealistic Characters and Weak Ending

After opening in theaters on April 25, Iceman 3D <冰封:重生之門> has brought in almost 70 million RMB in sales. However, public opinion about the film differs wildly, with some viewers panning the unsatisfactory action scenes and others praising the action choreography. Many viewers also expressed annoyance at Iceman 3D’s unrealistic take on the main character and its poorly executed ending.

Iceman 3D stars Donnie Yen (甄子丹) as He Ying, a martial arts expert who time-traveled from the Ming Dynasty to present-day Hong Kong. Apart from knowing how to fight, He Ying is also an expert at treating illnesses, cooking, and rescuing people. As expected, many female viewers lamented that such a perfect man could likely only be found in heaven. Other viewers griped that it would be impossible for such an omnipotent martial artist to exist in real life.

Another cause for dissatisfaction was Iceman 3D’s ending, which is meant to lead into the film’s upcoming sequel. As a result, the film as a whole felt more like an extended preview than like an actual theatrical release. One viewer wrote, “I already knew there would be a sequel before I watched the movie, but this type of ending is impossible for people to accept.” Another compared Iceman 3D to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, both of which are the second installment in a film trilogy and which lose steam near the ending in an attempt to drum up suspense for the sequel.

Iceman 3D received additional criticism for unintentionally causing Wang Baoqiang (王寶強), who plays a villainous royal guard, to turn into a laughingstock due to his chaotic hairstyle, nefarious expressions, and heavily accented English. Eva Huang (黃聖依), who has a nude scene in the film, was also criticized for looking emaciated rather than sexy.

Despite this, many viewers agreed that Iceman 3D was an entertaining film and that it successfully combined Chinese elements, such as wuxia, imperial palace politics, and kung fu, with Hollywood elements, such as magic, science fiction, and superheroes.


This article is written by Joanna for

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  1. I thought China banned time travelling themes in movies/dramas?

    1. Uhm, he’s from hk, the movie made in hk, china banned local producer only I think.

    2. that’s what i thought too. it must be after hit dramas like bu bu jing xing and gong.

    3. This Captain America of the east is a big let down…..way below my expectation. 🙁

  2. Uhm, wouldn’t man in the Qing dynasty are not able to cure illness as good as our current doctors >_>? Also, it’s hard to believe a general back there are good at cooking >_> because he’s so busy being general? And have many servants and wives to do cooking for him >_>???

    Any movie/drama that aim for sequel are just greedy movies in my eyes. Even the bloody hunger games and hobbit >_> especially with the last installation split into 2 movies. Super greedy there! Already not planning to see hunger game or hobbit last 2 movies >_>

  3. Last two films by Donnie have been getting harsh reviews. But in the end, they weren’t bad like many made them out to be. I predict ICEMAN will be no exception in this regard.

    Bring on KUNG FU JUNGLE though, that looks more promising.

  4. I noticed that some Chinese “movies” (not dramas) do not have “any” subtitles. Why? All Chinese movies should have Chinese subtitles by default too. Artists sometimes mumble and what is said can’t be heard clearly.

  5. Can anyone please tell me why in the world did mainland china banned time travel movie theme?

    1. To avoid the Chinese to have wrong understandings of history and the girls to dream of time-travel. There were accidents and suicides due to the illustration of time-travel. In short, time-travel has became uncontrollable in the eyes of China government

  6. Watched it yesterday, not too bad, not too good. It is quite entertaining for anyone who enjoy actions, jokes and not a deep movie. The fighting scenes are the highlight although I think the role of Eva is kinda usless. Watched it together with Amazing Spiderman 2 and marked those two same points: 6

  7. Bad actor and bad story creates bad bad movie. Always know that Donnie is not a good actor at all.

    1. There are several factors that has to be taken into account to judge a production. Donnie has already proved that he can act (Once Upon a Time in China 2, Iron Monkey, Ip Man films, Bodyguards & Assassins, Wu Xia, Monkey King).

      I haven’t seen Iceman yet (mostly bad reviews but there are few positive ones) but based on news reports on overall filming process, I’d say the Mainland film companies are at fault for taking over what was originally a fully Hong Kong-financed production. Mainland China always have the tendency to ruin Hong Kong filmmakers’ original visions.

    2. His only good movie was first ”ip man”

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