Hiding in my room,
safe within my womb.
I don’t know why but these few works fascinate me…silly really but there we go. Yesterday I spent too much my time watching the latest Netflix blockbuster Marco Polo. It really is a strange mix of Kung Fu movie meets Game of Thrones (GOT) and follows the exploits of Marco Polo at the court of Kublai Khan. It is utterly preposterous but this isn’t the series main faults. No the faults can be summed up in two parts: Firstly it is six episodes squeezed into 10 – really some of the episode in the centre are not worth mentioning (IMO); Secondly, and I guess this is the biggy, we know what happens in the end – Khan becomes emperor of China, starting the Yuan dynasty, his son never becomes emperor nor does his scheming ‘littlefinger’ finance minister and finally Marco Polo comes back to the west. These are not plot spoilers but know historical facts. Compared to Game of Thrones, where nobody knows the end as it has yet to be written, there is no tension.
Beyond these flaws it is a good old sex and violence romp with a new twist on the sexpolitation movie, technically speaking I guess Polo should be classed as soft porn, where in an early episode one of the lead characters fights three soldiers who have been sent to rape her by her brother, GOT again, in the nude which includes some very interesting use of cart wheels. Another high point is Benedict Wong‘s Henry the eigthesque portrayal of Kublai Khan. Unfortunately, the women’s roles tend to be there primarily to get their kit off in one form or another, which is a shame as they seem to have some rather good female actors. Another fun game you can play is try an guess the nationality of the east Asian actors from their accents – I never really knew that 13th century China had so many different accents in the court of the great Khan.
All in all this is a really silly but watchable load of nonsense. It will never be a classic but there are far far worse series on TV so if you have access to Netflix and you want park you brain at the door there are far worse things to watch than this.
On a different note the second image has nothing to do with Marco Polo also I wish I had through through my positioning of the sketch of Kublai Khan! Such is life.