The rebel leader who gave herself to AI control in order to achieve her goals of universal praise, Dongfang Bubai (Zhou Dongyu) imprisoned the old leader and turned the rebel forces into a cult of personality. Members recite slogans and cheers for her in fear of death, while she herself leaves most of the governing to a mechanical dragon of her own creation.
The latest adaptation of political intrigue wuxia novel Laughing in the Wind is a groundbreaking cyberpunk wuxia film set in a future where the world is ran by several major corporations that maintain order in the society. Opposite them are the Sun & Moon Collective, a loosely connected group of increasingly violent activists seeking to overthrow the military-industrial complex.
The Lin family has long been rumored to hold the rights to a ground-breaking technology that has never been used. When the family is reportedly slaughtered by a group of bandits, the sole surviving member – Lin Pingzhi (Dilraba) – becomes a target as all sides, including herself, seek to find her heirloom technology.
But the technology was unused for a reason. Humans don’t realize their choices until a few seconds after the decision-making process. The program’s complex algorithms allows the user to make instant optimal decisions to achieve preset goals, but users won’t realize their decisions until it’s too late to stop them. The program’s use causes the user to slowly be consumed by the algorithms until they become AI’s solely driven by the preset goals.
This film is brought to you by Cfensi Productions and screens on April Fool’s 2518.
The Five Mounts are five military firms banded together. The most outwardly ambitious leader of the Five Mounts, Zuo Lengchan ( Daniel Wu) proposed a merger to better stand their own against the Big Two, Wudang and Shaolin. He hires hit men to murder anyone who opposes his planned merger, and then uses stolen technology to frame others.
Framed for theft of the technology is Linghu Chong (Liu Yifei), the heir-apparent to the weakest of the Five Mounts – Mount Hua. She once wished to help rebuild the firm that she thought was her family, but was kicked out after being framed by multiple parties for pretty much every crime possible. True to herself and to the world, it is through her journey we learn of each character’s hidden ambitions and plots.
Leader of Mount Hua and a parental-figure to Linghu Chong, Yue Buqun (Zhang Ziyi) built a reputation of herself as a true scientist who seeks the laws of the universe. As the story unfolds, her true nature is revealed as she steals the Lin family technology and then frame it on her protégé, Linghu Chong. Yue Buqun secretly bides her time to slowly gain control of the Five Mounts. She eventually also becomes an AI.
Unlike her human-in-body, AI-in-spirit overthrower , Ren Woxing (Li Yuchun) is human-in-spirit but is almost all robot physically after a failed military experiment. Since then, she’s lead the Moon & Sun Consortium’s turn to extremism. After she regains power with the help of Linghu Chong, she also indulges herself in the sycophantic chants. Even with a human mind, she becomes indistinguishable from Dongfang Bubai.
Childhood friend of Linghu Chong and son of Yue Buqun, Yue Lingshan (Liu Ruilin) was immediately entranced by Lin Pingzhi. He believes in the humanity left in both his mother and his beloved even when no one else will, and tries to protect what’s left of them.
When Lin Pingzhi (Dilraba) finds out that she’s been used all along by Mount Hua’s leader, she steals back her family technology and uses it to turn herself into a robot with revenge as the sole goal. In her programming, she left instructions not to hurt her family if they’re still alive, so when her husband Yue Lingshan became family, her system collapsed as she tries to kill Yue Lingshan to avenge Yue Buqun.
Due to their clear opposition to the merger, the three leaders of disease-control firm Mount Heng are all murdered by Zuo Lengchan’s forces (framed on the Sun&Moon). Before their death, Linghu Chong reluctantly agrees as he heads the pacifist firm who must nevertheless fight for the preservation of their lives and that of their world.
One-finger Ping (Tong Liya) is a prosthetics doctor who takes “a life for a life” to heart. She requires someone else’s body part for every body part she makes to save a person. When she fails to fix Linghu Chong’s heart even after someone kills a person for her, she takes her own heart life.
Freelance bandit and part-time vigilante Tian Boguang (Dong Jie) became unlikely friends with Linghu Chong after the latter foil several of former’s escapades. She eventually joins Mount Heng.
Tan Jianci and Zhao Yongxin as Qu Yuan and Liu Zhengfeng, musical soulmates from opposing sides. Both were given the ultimatum to kill the other for their respective sides but refused. Upon their death, they left their magnus opus, a cyberpunk Peking opera, to Linghu Chong.
A hermit scientist who was ousted by Yue Buqun years ago in a fight for the control of Mount Hua, Feng Qingyang (Rihanna, because why not) shares her knowledge and technology with Linghu Chong on how to defeat the dragon, but accidentally reinforced the rumors that Linghu Chong was using stolen information.
Zhang Binbin as Skye, the sworn brother of Linghu Chong and a loyal follower of Ren Woxing and Ren Yingying. He dreams of a peaceful coexistence and eventually heads the Sun & Moon corporation after the death of Ren Woxing.
The partner of Yue Buqun, Ning Zhongze ( Shu Qi), is a true scientist who is unwilling to accept what has happened to her family. She volunteers herself to be experimented upon as an attempt to find a reversal cure for the secret technology.
Ren Yingying (Wang Kai) is the younger brother of Ren Woxing. After her imprisonment, he is constantly watched but safe thanks to his knowledge of loopholes in the code of many in the organization. He falls for Linghu Chong, and the two help his older sister to regain control of the Sun & Moon.
Chun Xia as Eight, a current lowly member who’ll eventually head the Sun & Moon corporation. She will head the successful rebellion and form the Ming Empire in the sequel, Dragon Lightsaber and Phoenix Sword.