Marco Polo is a historical drama set during the Mongolian Empire, reigning under Kublai Khan in 1260. The series follows the protagonist Marco Polo in his early years as he travels through to the East of Asia into Mongolian territory and falls under captive of Kublai Khan where he experiences the life of Mongols.
Marco Polo was dubbed the next ‘Game of Thrones’ and we all expected nail biting conversations with a huge chunk of betrayals coming from all over the place that keep you in the edge of your seats. Also add in a bit of sex and supernatural elements. Unfortunately we were fooled, Marco Polo was nothing but a Game of Thrones rip off.
The production value was one of few factors that was great about the series. The Weinstein company had invested $90 million, and filmed the series in Malaysia, Italy and Kazakhstan. Marco Polo pulled off a great job in illustrating how the Mongolian Empire percieved and gives a genuine atmosphere that makes you reflect on how real it was.
The main characters, Marco Polo and Kublai Khan was a joy to watch. The scenes that involved the two engaing in conversations and developing their friendship was carried out well. The two come from opposite cultures and raised under different laws yet they still manage to form a friendship. However, other characters within the series didn’t make me connect to them apart from the antagonist Jia Sidao. Enemies are suppose to bring fear and threat under their presence and that is exactly what Jia Sidao brought to the series. Characters such as Prince Jingim was annoying and didn’t make me feel anything of his value yet he was the lawful son and heir to Kublai Khan but he was irrelevant on most occasions.
As usual, I like soundtracks and believe it is an important element that must be conveyed perfectly. Marco Polo’s soundtrack was outstanding, the production done a great job on making the sets look as realistic as possible but the music added that extra boost to support the realism.
The action within Marco Polo was outstanding, the Kung Fu was played well and i really enjoyed the camera movements that gave us a clear view of the action sequences. The final battle between the Mongolian Empire and the Chinese Rebels was sensational, the budget was used ideally and it was very enjoyable to see a fierce battle between two armies. The battle felt genuine and was entertaining.
Nevertheless Marco Polo was a fun historical fantasy that is worth a watch only for its good action, beautiful sets and soundtrack but don’t expect a HBO standard series with a definitive story and top notch acting because you’re not going to get it.