Chinese movie China Captain slammed as rip-off of Marvel films

China Captain was released on Tencent Video streaming website on May 18.
China Captain was released on Tencent Video streaming website on May 18.PHOTO: MAOYAN/WEIBO

SINGAPORE - A Chinese web movie featuring an assortment of characters from Chinese folklore and novels has been slammed for ripping off Marvel's superhero movies.

China Captain - the title of the movie echoes Marvel's Captain America - was released on Tencent Video streaming website on May 18.

The story tells of a group of Chinese heroes who declare war on a bunch of foreign superheroes who have encroached on their turf in China.

The movie, directed by He Yizheng, stars relatively unknown actors such as Zheng Xiaofu, Li Taiyan and Du Qiao.

It features characters such as the Monkey King from the classic novel Journey To The West, eccentric monk Ji Gong and late gongfu star Bruce Lee.

There are also characters from late author Louis Cha's martial arts novels such as Yang Guo, Wei Xiaobao and Dongfang Bubai.

Some characters seem to have superpowers, such as Justice Bao from the Song Dynasty firing laser beams from his crescent-moon shaped birthmark on his forehead; and Guan Yu from the Three Kingdoms period having laser-like eyes.

Some Chinese netizens said it was so bad that they had to stop watching after a while and lambasted the weak story and poor special effects.

Others said there were several similarities to the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, such as the film opening with the flipping of comic book pages and the assembling of the Chinese heroes towards the end.

Despite the bad reviews, the movie has a rating of 7.7 on Tencent Video, which left some wondering if the score was a true reflection.