White Snake 2 Film Review: Meetings, Partings, and Self-rediscovery through Suffering - TrueID

White Snake 2 Film Review: Meetings, Partings, and Self-rediscovery through Suffering

Yu AlexiusOctober 15, 2021

Xiao Qing the Green Snake has returned in the sequel of 2019’s Chinese animated film White Snake and she’s taking the spotlight this time as opposed to her older sister Xiao Bai. White Snake 2: The Tribulation of the Green Snake (Bai She 2: Qing She Jie qi) was released on July 23, 2021 in Chinese cinema and was able to stand on its own ground as it offers a complete contrast to what the first film had delivered so far. It brings forth a setting that resembles a bit of a cyber-punk cliche with advanced technology in a dystopian world where people who had lost their way in the cycle of reincarnation had been trapped. That feels like the complete opposite of its prequel which had been set in Ancient China where demons can freely roam the human realm.

The film is both a continuation and a conclusion to the first movie yet also leaving some hints of a possible sequel. It started with Xiao Bai and Xiao Qing assaulted and flooded Jishan to save Xu Xian but they’d been defeated. Xiao Bai was trapped inside the Leifeng Pagoda by Fahai. While Xiao Qing was sent to another world, a place where the souls of the dead have lost their way back to the cycle of reincarnation. They’d been trapped there and Xiao Qing’s journey to return back to the world had been a journey of rediscovering herself and what she value the most while also encountering different kinds of people and learning their stories.

At the end of the Southern Song Dynasty, Xiaobai was forced by Fahai under the Leifeng Pagoda after saving Xu Xian. Xiaoqing was accidentally driven into a strange fantasy of Shura city by Fahai. In several crises, Xiaoqing was rescued by the mysterious masked youth. With the obsession of going out to rescue Xiaobai, Xiaoqing went through calamity and growth, and together with the masked youth to find a way to leave.

White Snake 2 Film Review

White Snake 2 has delicately transferred the center of the story of Xiao Qing without leaving Xiao Bai behind as the titular White Snake demon still plays a significant role in the character development of Xiao Qing, the Green Snake.

Xiao Qing had been put to so much test, an absolute tribulation that challenged her belief and views of the world, an experience that let her re-evaluate herself and what she’s fighting for. Her tenacity, endurance, resourcefulness, and dedication had been tested by fate, and the film has excellently showcased how she persevere and overcome her hurdles, a trait that befits the traditional Green Snake character from the original Chinese folktale.

The film also highlights the White Snake in a different light but in the end, she’s the Green Snake’s light in whatever forms she takes, she’s the only light that shines upon her path and leads her way. In the end, Xiao Qing gets to know herself better, gets to learns what her heart truly desires, and comes to terms with it. While the story had been a fantastic ride albeit unpredictable, I felt like the latter part had been dragged way too long. Just when we all think that Xiao Qing gets to have her own romantic life too, but it seems that is not the case. Additionally, the character of Sima definitely looks like Li Yunxiang, the modern reincarnation of Nezha in another Light Chaser film, New Gods: Nezha Reborn which was released last February 2021.

In terms of technical animation, White Snake 2 had been a fantastic piece of art and has shown a different visual experience than its predecessor. With the same staff from Light Chaser Animation Studio and the direction of Amp Wong, the White Snake 2 film was able to deliver a breathtaking adventure amidst the dark and dystopian setting with tons of action-packed scenes and well-animated fight scenes. The character designs are top-notched with absolutely gorgeous 3D modeled layouts for the main characters. The production team also used brand new and advanced technology, especially in the flooding of the Jishan scene where they had been considered as one of the most challenging tasks in animating the film and it took them 3 years to produce the entire sequel to the first movie. The film was also produced by several big names in the Chinese market such as Light Chaser Animation, Alibaba Pictures, Tianjin Maoyan Weiying Culture Media, and bilibili.

I was very happy to be the director of Green Snake. I could feel the passion and booming development of the animation film industry in the Chinese mainland.

Amp Wong, director of White Snake 2

In the end, White Snake 2 is a film that far exceeded the expectations of the fans when it comes to the plot and how the story was delivered. For the fans of the first film, this is an all-new adventure and a whole lot of different vibes and actions that you should watch. While the story didn’t delve deeper into what the White Snake had become with her being in a relationship with a human, but all the lessons might’ve been learned and there’s a lot of reflections in real life that fans can ponder upon.

Read More