Magic to Win

Film, Action and adventure
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
Aiming for ‘Harry Potter’ territory but ending up closer to already-forgotten Nicolas Cage vehicle ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, this supernatural romp from ‘Ip Man’ director Yip Wai-Shun sees a struggling girls’ volleyball team re-energised when one of their number acquires unexpected magical powers. Which calls for shrieking teens, crude slapstick, plenty of pratfalls and gangs of grim-faced wizard types shouting a lot and firing rippling CG fireballs at each other. There’s a mythology in play here – it’s derived from the popular ‘Happy Ghost’ movie series, and involves some kind of ‘Last Airbender’-style elemental sorcery – but Yip doesn’t bother to furnish newcomers with any detail or depth, either in the narrative or the characters. What remains is intermittently watchable – an unexpectedly affecting time-travel coda works a treat – but mostly this is just aggravating, as the volleyball girls flap and pout, the wizards glower and prance and the film trundles from one half-hearted and predictable action sequence to another.

By: Tom Huddleston



Release details

Release date:
Friday December 9 2011
100 mins

Cast and crew

Wilson Yip
Edmond Wong
Louis Koo
Jacky Wu
Chun Wu
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