Xi You Ji : Nu Er Guo is such a great film. Not only video effects are good, but also the actors and actresses' performances too. Some people are saying this is a bad film because they don't know some facts, especially the original story of this. I'll explain one by one.
1) Nu Er Guo (in English, The Kingdom of Women) has ONLY women in it's kingdom and the citizens don't know about men and they can't even go out from the Kingdom. So, they don't know some things, such as Tang Sang is a monk, and monk can't love anyone, etc. The Queen lives in her kingdom since the day she was born and men are banned in the kingdom. So, she hasn't meet with a man until Tang Sang showed up. And Tang Sang was the first man she ever saw in her life. That's why she fell in love with her. If there were such things as "love at the first sight", then why would it possible that the Queen fell in love with a monk? The concept is the same. She fell in love at the first sight.
As for Tang Sang, even though he knows being a monk doesn't allow falling in love. But that is also acceptable. Let me tell you a story. But I want to say in advance that my English isn't that much good, so, maybe I can't illustrate the whole picture. But I'll try as much as I can. In my country, there was a legend. Legend says there are some monks with the ability to fly in the air. Of course those monks practiced too long, so that they get that kind of ability. But one day, a monk saw a girl. The girl was so pretty, so, he fell in love with her immediately. As soon as he saw and fell in love with her, the monk lost that ability instantly and he fall from the sky (because he saw that girl while flying in the sky). A monk is also a human. Being a human, he could love especially if the girl is pretty. That is something every human can't escape from. The same logic applies here. Tang Sang may fall in love with that Queen too. That's why there is a love story between Tang Sang and the queen which is acceptable.
2) The casting. The casting was very good. I feel like all actors and actresses are in right place. Hence, their performances are very good, especially, Zhao Liying. I totally love her.
3) Sound editing and mixing, which is, I think, no need to mention at all. Every background sound they used in this film is so perfect. I can feel that it's really happening.
4) Visual effects. The visual effects are great. I don't see that much good in visual effects in Chinese films. I watch a lot of films including American, British and Chinese, the visual effects I like are from American and British films. I even saw that very bad films that let you know it's a visual effect and it's not real, etc. A visual effect that is no neat. But those effects in this film is so perfect, especially, they are being chased by that river immortal on the river. They will never shoot that scene in a river just like in the film. Plus, that one is not even real. So, they all are visual effects. And the last scene, it's one of the coolest visual effects used in the film.
5) Photography/Cinematography. I don't know the sceneries are real or not. But they are very beautiful. I really wanted to go there when I saw those scenes. So, I'd say director of photography and/or cinematographer is very good. Beautiful sceneries are very important for a film. This one has it all.
6) The original story which was animation that I watched when I was young was just 60 minutes (tops) long. But in this film, they put some extra things to make the film 2 hours long. Although they have stretched the plot a little bit, but it turned out good. There's no boring scene, and some scenes are even funny. It's very important to entertain audience with some jokes. But if there are too much jokes, it's not good too. In this film, of course they put some jokes, but it didn't make the film stupid, bad one or whatever. It made the film more enjoyable. And also I laughed a lot. Laughing prolongs your life. Thanks to the screen play writer.
7) OST. Although this film doesn't have many songs like Fifty Shades Freed film had, the OSTs are very good. I've listened those two songs before the movie was released. I totally loved it. When I heard again in the film, because it was in the right place, I loved it more. The songs are really in the right place and it makes the film better. I'd say because of those OSTs, the film becomes better and better.
8) The story. In the love story of Tang Sang and the Queen, the Queen stayed at Tang Sang's side and wrote on the ground together with him when he lost his child because Wukong gave him the liquid to lose his pregnancy. That scene with the lovely song is very touchable. I'm really and totally touched. And also when the Queen let them go, because of the performances of actors and actresses', I'm touched by that scene too. As for me, those two scenes are the best scenes in the whole film.
Because of those facts I've stated in above, I'd say this is a good film to watch. Although I don't know why these films get very low rating and why people are giving Asian films (especially Chinese films) with visual effects, as for me, those ones are pretty good. A few days ago, I watched a Taiwanese film because it has high rating 7.0 here on IMDB which was very rare to see. I found the story was quite impressive. That, I accept. What I don't accept is a bit drama and it also includes kissing and sex scenes. IMDB users or audiences only give high votes if only they are dramas and kissing and sex scenes are included in the films, just like Shape of Water and/or Blade Runner 2049? As for me, the visual effects used in Blade Runner is nothing compared to this film. I haven't a clue of why people are giving high votes to those drama-like Sci-Fi/Fiction/Fantasy/Adventure films? Those ones are terribly boring. For instance, Blade Runner 2049. I don't even know the plot is. The plot was all about the leading character was moving around and nothing much happened. And then, hours went by and the movie was finished. So, compared to Blade Runner 2049, this one is way better. If Blade Runner 2049 gets high votes, this one deserves 10 out of 10 votes. No offense, okie?
All in all, as for me, it's a great movie with awesome visual effects. I didn't even know 2 hours time was passed. It's so enjoyable. Even if this one is not your taste, it should at least make a fine film.