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The Keepers of the 5 Kingdoms
Patsy Lee and the Keepers of the 5 Kingdoms

USA 2024
produced by
Ace Underhill, Zack Ward, James Hong (executive), James Grossman (executive), James Cullen Bressack (co), Aria C. Yang (co) for Brilliant Screen Studios
directed by Zack Ward
starring James Hong, Michelle Mao, Anna Harr, Matthew Sato, Dante Basco, Dave Sheridan, Bai Ling, Saxon Sharbino, George Takei (voice), Zac Albright, Gedde Watanabe (voice), Fiona Rene, Marisa Kapavik, T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh, Courtney Robertson, Scotch Hopkins, Spencer Baik, Jon Bailey, Lombardo Boyar, Karl Haas, Craig Ng, Aris Underhill, Aria C. Yang
story by James Hong, screenplay by Ace Underhill, Zack Ward, music by Michael "Fish" Herring, visual effects supervisor: Padraic Culham, creature creations by Constantine FX

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Tired of being banished to a tower in a magical land and eager to rule all five kingdoms, Kuang (Bai Ling) sends out her bumbling henchmen Frank (Dante Basco) and Hank (Dave Sheridan) to retrieve the key that will free her and that has found its way to modern day earth. The two actually get their hands onto the key, but lose it on their way back and it falls into the hands of clever but nosy teen Patsy (Michelle Mao), who immediately tries to solve the riddle of the key - and soon gets herself, her antique dealer granddad Chuck (James Hong), her best friend, clumsy Squirrel (Anna Harr), and her eventual love interest Hopper (Matthew Sato) all sucked into magic land where they only gradually learn about the importance of the key and of keeping it out of Kuang's reach while they have all sorts of adventures crossing paths with treacherous lizard-like trader Joe (Zac Albright, voiced by Gedde Watanabe), wise tortoise Ao (voiced by George Takei) and flesh eating beauty Allura (Saxon Sharbino), to name just a few ...

 

As this is a film conceived for the whole family, of course it's somewhat restrained when it comes to the darker side of things, and of course the ending is rather wholesome and with a positive message - but within this confines the film hardly sets a foot wrong, ranging from its overboarding fantasy world that mixes Eastern and Western folklore and features some cool practical effects work including an array of quite amazing creatures, and while the budget was rather low by Hollywood standards, director Zack Ward really gets the most out of what he has at hand to create a pretty loveable piece of fantasy cinema.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

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written by
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