I have to admit that I haven’t yet seen the Marco Polo series, however while casually browsing Netflix, I came across this gem. This short (only 28 minutes long) had me on the edge of my seat. It was a great little story, with great kung fu scenes and engaging characters. The main character – hundred eyes doesn’t say very much at all, but his presence is palpable.
The story line is basic. Kublai Khan is on the rampage. His men come across a warrior monk who manages to defeat a huge number of them until he was eventually over powered. He is then brought before Khan himself who demands that he teach his men his art, thus engaging a battle of wits and attrition.
From what I understand, this is an origin story to explain the background to hundred eyes. It’s got me intrigued about Marco Polo but also scared that its not going to live up to what this short has provided.
In your 28 minutes, you get great story, great kung fu, great characters and great acting. Hundred eyes is played by the superb British-Chinese actor Tom Wu while Lancashire’s Benedict Wong is the great Khan. It has Michelle Yeo in the credits but only because she sticks her (lovely) face in it for a couple of seconds. She must have more of a role to play in Marco Polo.
The kung fu action is crisp and although has the great Chinese Wushu flourish, it doesn’t rely on over the top wire work.