The Ying-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity (not to be confused with “The Ying-Yang Master”, which is another similar film in the same universe) is a Netflix Original. In case it wasn’t obvious from the movie title, it’s a Chinese movie, which gave me a little pause. Why? Because of China’s recent draconian efforts to stamp out anything that goes against the ‘norm’, which China defines as stereotypical, traditional gender roles for males and females, heterosexuality, and the idea that anything else is weak or devastating to society. Hong Kong’s protests, China’s genocide against a cultural group, the closure of independent press and the erasure of the LGBTQ+ community.
As a result, it’s best to stray as much as possible mainstream Chinese content (not to mention that most mainstream content is just underwhelming and probably borderline plagiarized). But the Yin-Yang Master certainly gave me a reason to watch it. The movie is full of cute boys, and they are definitely not stereotypically masculine boys either. There’s also relatively strong relationships between the male characters, and even the idea that demons aren’t always evil (that’s a folklore feature of some Asian cultures, in which demons can be thought of dark fairies, not necessarily beings of pure evil, by the way). Some have called the film queer bait, which is defined as “a marketing technique for fiction and entertainment in which creators hint at, but then do not actually depict, same-sex romance”.
In case it was forgotten, the movie is Chinese, and considering the aforementioned dracanian policies, I thought the Ying-Yang Master movie actually decent, which a relatively strong story, and what I think is good acting. Just bear through the overuse of CGI, which happens to very closely resemble Dr. Strange’s special effects. Even the director/writer for the film, Guo Jingming, goes against the norm.