Just Another Pandora’s Box

In the land of mystic and magic, a young fairy named Rose (Betty Sun Li) was fascinated by the legend of Purple Cloud Goddess. Seeking to experience the legendary tale herself, she stole the Heavenly Purple Sword from the Goddess and descended to the world of mortal to find her one true love. Rose pledged to herself that anyone who could unsheathe her stolen sword would be her soul mate.

As Rose was rowing her raft along a river, she stumbled into a rope trap and fell into the water. She was saved in a nick of time by a rascal, Qing Ye Se (Ronald Cheng), who set the trap. Seeing a tidy profit upon Rose’s enchanted sword, Qing Yi Se tried to abscond with it. His ploy was witnessed by the Secret Man (Lee Lik-chee) and being caught red-handed, Qing Yi Se attacked the Secret Man with the sheathed Heavenly Purple Sword. The Secret Man, who was an immortal himself, once unsheathed the enchanted sword. He grabbed the sword by the scabbard and warned Qing Yi Se about the tale of the sword including the identity of Rose. However, Qing Yi Se didn’t believe any of it. Then the Secret Man pulled the scabbard and vanished while the Heavenly Purple Sword was unsheathed in the hand of Qing Ye Se.

Unaware about the preceded event, Rose mistakenly thought Qing Yi Se as her true love for he was the one who unsheathed the enchanted sword. She was so infatuated with the charismatic swindler. Horrified by Rose’s display of love and affections, Qing Yi Se attempted to flee while she relentlessly pursued him. And they were apprehended by the constables who were in a dragnet for Qing Yi Se. They managed to escape and came across the Bull Demon King (Wang Xuebin) holding the Pandora’s Box, the time travel device. He was being chased by a couple of immortals, Monk Grapes (Jeff Lau) and Assistant Master (Johnny Kong). In the chaotic, by sheer accident the Pandora’s Box opened a gateway to another time and place. Without hesitance, Qing Yi Se jumped into the portal in an attempt to elude Rose.

Ronald Cheng as Zhao Yun
Ronald Cheng as Zhao Yun

Qing Yi Se was transported into the Three Kingdoms Era just prior to the battle of the Red Cliff. He landed in the midst of Cao Cao’s soldiers pillaging the town of XinYe. Not only Qing Yi Se landed in the different era, he was also transformed into Zhao Yun. He was soon captured by Cao Cao’s soldiers. During his captive, Cao Cao (Guo De Gang) confiscated the Pandora’s Box. For now Qing Yi Se was stuck in a war torn land with no way to return home. He was ensnared into one of the great military rivalries of Chinese history as Qing Yi Se was unwittingly dispatched by Cao Cao as a pawn to his nemesis, Liu Bei (Yuen Bao).

Gigi Leung as Ambassador of Turkestan
Gigi Leung as Ambassador of Turkestan

At Liu Bei’s camp, Qing Yi Se was accepted and embraced. Liu Bei assigned him as protection detail for Ambassador of Turkestan (Gigi Leung). Mesmerized by Ambassador of Turkestan’s exotic beauty, before long Qing Yi Se was enamored with her. Just as their romance began to blossom, the war erupted between the two camps. As Cao Cao’s army began to falter, he deployed a cavalry to Liu Bei’s camp. Their mission was to assassinate Liu Bei before Cao Cao could launch a major crushing seaborne assault. However, the cavalry was heading into a well planned military trap. In the chaos that ensued, Qing Yi Se became dazed when he was thrown off his horse.

Back at Liu Bei’s camp, Qing Yi Se was nursed by Ambassador of Turkestan in his quarters. He discovered that the ambassador was actually the fairy Rose. She was using her magical power to conceal her identity. Rose was determined to win his love by following Qing Yi Se through time travel. However, Qing Yi Se had other plan. He schemed to steal back the Pandora’s Box from Cao Cao so he could escape to somewhere else in time and leaving Rose behind.

Betty Sun Li as Rose
Betty Sun Li as Rose

As the battle of Red Cliff escalated, Qing Yi Se and Rose managed to sneak into Cao Cao’s boat. But Qing Yi Se was once again captured by Cao Cao. He was then rescued by Rose and she also was able to obtain the Pandora’s Box. Now, Qing Yi Se must search within his heart whether he cared for Rose as he did for her in Ambassador of Turkestan appearance.


The movie starts with opening credit Jackie Chan, Stephen Chow, Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat, Maggie Cheung, Angelina Jolie and Zhang Zi Yi – “All refused to be in the movie”. The jocular opening credit sets the tone of this wacky comedy. Just Another Pandora’s Box aka Once Upon A Chinese Classic fills with parodies from host of movies such as Red Cliff, House of the Flying Dagger, Kung fu Hustle, Kung fu Panda, CJ7, Crazy Racer, The Promise, Titanic, King Kong and the Opening 2008 Olympic. It’s the spiritual successor from Jeff Lau’s two part 1994 hit A Chinese Odyssey.

To appreciate some of the slapstick humor around the parodies, the audience must familiar with Jeff Lau’s earlier works and the horde of movies mentioned above. It caters more for esoteric audience which otherwise, it will be unwatchable affair. The indulgence of romance within the storyline creates plenty of ridiculously funny and generous fun. With array of stars from Hong Kong and China demean themselves in the name of humor, it’s hard to pin point their acting performances in this loony movie.

Just Another Pandora’s Box’s hilarious comedy may not be Jeff Lau’s best work but the jokes are well executed to provide genuine fun. Having the filming crew in costumes for the end credits was a nice touch by Jeff Lau.


Ronald Cheng … Qing Yi Se/ Zhao Yun
Betty Sun Li … Rose
Gigi Leung … Ambassador of Turkestan
Anthena Chu … Purple Cloud
Eric Tsang … Zhuge Liang
Ada Choi … Princess Iron Fan
Huang Bo … Zhou Yu
Guo De Gang … Cao Cao
Gillian Chung … Sun Shang Xiang
Patrick Tam … General Xia Hou
Yuen Bao … Liu Bei
Huang Yi … Xiao Qiao
Alex Fong … Guan Yu
Louis Fan … Zhang Fei
Sandra Ng … Cook
Stephy Tang … Painted Skin
Wu Jing … Chief Guard
Sha Yi … General Qi Yan
Li Yi Xiao … Mother of A Dou
Yu Bin … Wounded Soldier
Xu Wan Qiu … Nurse
Lee Lik-chee … Secret Man
Tin Kai-man … Bamboo Forest Soldier
Kenny Bee … Soldier with Olympic Torch
Johnnie Kong … Assistant Master
Wang Xuebin … Bull Demon King
Jeff Lau … Monk Grapes
The Flowers … Cao Soldier
Marco Mak … General Du
Cory Yuen … Cao General
Teddy Lin … Minister Lian
Guo Tao … Doctor Hua Tuo
Wong Cho-lam … Cao Special Guard
Ken Wong … Lu Su
Edmond Leong … Guard
Yuen Cheung Yan … Beggar
Zhang Li … Liu Bei Wife A
Ai Mengmeng … Liu Bei Wife B
Li Na … Liu Bei Wife C
Lam Suet … O Sim Massage Chair
Marco Ngai … Wu Soldier A
Chiu Chi Ling … Wu Soldier B
Wang Yu … Wu Soldier C
Yu Rongguang … General Gan
Chen Kai Shi … Big Mouth Jenny
Yuen Qiu … Landlady
Yuen Wah … Landlord
Yu Qian … Sign Language Performer
Tat Lau … The Boy
Leung Siu Lung … Fire Cloud Devil
Xu Jiao … Dicky
Zhong Guoxiong … Cao Soldier A
Charmaine Fong … Cao Soldier B
Michael Tong … Wu General
Lee Kin Yan … Flower Girl
Lam Chi Chung … Warrior Sunset
Tse Kwan Ho … Agent Smith


Director: Jeffrey Lau
Screenplay: Jeffrey Lau
Producer: Zhu Jiayi, Xu Jianping, Gan Huiyin, Li Li, Liao Qianshan, Yang Yang
Director of Photography: Edmond Fung
Action Choreographer: Yuen Cheung Yan
Art Director: Bill Lui, Liu Jingping
Image Designer: Ng Bo-ling
Composer: Yao Min
Soundtrack: Lin Bo (Heaven Has No Black Clouds)

Filming Locations: Guangdong Province and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
Release Date: March 18, 2010

Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes


Just Another Pandora's Box poster promo

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