Whenever a wuxia film (i.e. martial arts epic fantasy) winds up getting plopped onto home video here in the U.S. with no fanfare whatsoever, it comes as no surprise. What is kind of surprising is to find out that the film in question is not only a sequel, but was originally released in 3D. So to be reviewing the film not just in 2D, but on DVD, you can’t help but think the film is really getting the short end of the stick. Thankfully, Painted Skin: The Resurrection, seems to have its own plot in motion and you don’t need to have seen the original Painted Skin. It’s also interesting to note that the first film still has yet to see the light of day stateside when it too was in 3D and starred Donnie Yen. I guess this is where I shrug and move along, right?
Resurrection has quite a convoluted storyline. The basics are that the Fox demon, Xiao Wei (Xun Zhou in a returning role), has been banished to extreme coldness, night and day, for 500 years. Now, a Bird demon, Quer (Mini Yang), who has been attracted by the Fox’s face, has managed her escape from the icy prison. To keep her human form, Xiao Wei must take the hearts of the living. The only way she can become human is if someone offers their heart willingly. Meanwhile, Princess Jing (Wei Zhao) has rescued Xiao Wei from the clutches of the Tian Lang Kingdom.
Jing takes her with her to the White City where General Huo Xin (Kun Chen) stands guard protecting the city when he’s not winning archery contests and literally bathing in alcohol. We learn over the course of the film that Jing and Huo love each other, but Huo won’t return Jing’s advances and Jing is promised to marry a Tian Lang prince which could result in war if she doesn’t live up to her end of the bargain. Subplots involve Quer meet-cutes a street vendor by day/demon hunter by night (Shaofeng Feng), who knows there’s a demon staying in White City; meanwhile, Xiao Wei offers Jing the chance to win Huo over by switching bodies to rid her of her facial scars from a bear mauling nearly eight years ago.