The Great Magician

For the British author who used this pseudonym, see Walter Scott.
The Great Magician
Directed by Derek Yee
Produced by Peggy Lee
Mandy Law
Written by Derek Yee
Chun Tin-nam
Lau Ho-leung
Music by Leon Ko
Cinematography Kito Nobuyasu
Edited by Kwong Chi-leung
Emperor Motion Pictures
Bona Film Group
Bona Entertainment
Film Unlimited
Distributed by Emperor Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • 22 December 2011 (2011-12-22) (China)
  • 12 January 2012 (2012-01-12) (Hong Kong)
Running time
128 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Mandarin
Box office US$27.32 million[1]

The Great Magician (simplified Chinese: 大魔术师; traditional Chinese: 大魔術師) is a 2011 Hong Kong-Chinese action fantasy-comedy film directed by Derek Yee and starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Lau Ching-wan and Zhou Xun.


In the years after the Revolution in which the Qing Dynasty in China is overthrown and the Republic is established, China is broken up into fiefdoms held by warlords, who are busy fighting each other. A Butler, Liu Kunshan (Wu Gang), uses magic to scare convicts into joining the army of warlord Lei Bully (Lau Ching-wan). Lei Bully has 6 wives and also imprisons a girl, Liu Yin (Zhou Xun), and wants her to be his seventh wife willingly. A group of local revolutionaries want to kidnap Lei and bring back the republic. They team up with a magician, Chang Hsien (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), to entice Lei to a magic show and kidnap him during the show. It is revealed that Zhang and Liu Yin had been ex-lovers in the past and Zhang is an apprentice of Liu's father, a magician, Liu Wanyao. Chang discovers that his former master was imprisoned by Liu Kunshan as he had wanted to extract a magic secret from Liu Wanyao.

The two ex-lovers meet during Chang's magic show. Chang wants to run away with Liu Yin but she refuses to leave Lei to ensure her father's safety so that he will not be killed. Lei and Chang become close friends. Despite knowing one another's background, they pretend not to know. Chang discovers that his master was tortured by Liu Kun Shan and that he had a secret to hide and informs Lei. Lei asks Chang to investigate Liu Kunshan and subsequently discovers that Liu Kunshan is a member of the Qing Dynasty remnants and wants to bring back the Dynasty by collaborating with the Japanese.

Lei discovers that Butler Liu Kunshan had an affair with his third wife and demands that they both leave. With his cover blown, Liu Kunshan and the Japanese launch an attack on Lei and his fellow warlords but Chang and Lei plan an elaborate scheme to hide that Lei and Liu Yin are dead. With the rest of the Qing Dynasty remnants, Liu Kunshan tries to raise an army by magic via Chang. However, the scheme is revealed and the Qing Dynasty remnants are killed or arrested.

Lei subsequently disbands his army and gives away his riches to pursue being a weapons researcher and also pursue Liu Yin. Liu Yin decides not to follow either Lei or Chang and both Lei and Chang chase Liu Yin on equal ground.



  1. Screen staff (6 July 2012). "China box office up 37% in first half of 2012". Screen Daily. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
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