Sadly, the visuals come at the expense of a plot. Simply too much happens in the film, making it rather confusing at times. It doesn't help that a main cast member of the first movie, Zhao Wei, plays an entirely different character than in the original. Nor does it help that she has such a striking similarity with the other female lead, Zhou Xun.
Fox demon Xiaowei (Zhou) escapes from her icy prison and devours hearts in order to remain beautiful. A willing donor would mean she could become human again. That donor comes in the form of Princess Jing (Zhao), who's willing to trade her heart for Xiaowei's skin and body: she was disfigured in her youth, and hopes to win the love of General Huo Xin (Chen Kun).
No matter how stylish a film, it's hard to overlook the simple fact that an actor is playing a different role in the same film series. No doubt it's meant to tap into Zhao's star power, but you'd think the filmmakers would have the sense not to insult our intelligence - at least not so blatantly.