It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ...
See full summary »
In this sequel to Red Cliff, Chancellor Cao Cao convinces Emperor Xian of the Han to initiate a battle against the two Kingdoms of Shu and Wu, who have become allied forces, against all ... See full summary »
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung,
Set three years after Dragon Inn, innkeeper Jade has disappeared and a new inn has risen from the ashes - one that's staffed by marauders masquerading as law-abiding citizens, who hope to unearth the fabled lost city buried in the desert.
Story centers on a battle during China's Warring States Period, a series of civil wars, which spanned from the 5th to the 3rd century B.C. Based on a popular Japanese manga, which was in turn based a Japanese novel inspired by Warring States history in China.
His country torn asunder by civil war, Zhao Zilong, a common man heeds the call of duty and from the humblest of roots rises through the ranks on wings of courage and cunning to command an ... See full summary »
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and ... See full summary »
It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about the killing of general Ma Xinyi. The story was filmed by Zhang Che in 1973 as The Blood Brothers. Written by
25 minutes into the movie, the curse word "gou ri de" (literally: dog, Japanese, of) was used. The expression means "Japanese dog" which originates from the Japanese invasion during World War II. The movie takes places in the 19th century, so the expression had not come about yet. See more »
Peter Chan's anti-war effort & a tweak with the HK gangster genre
I'm not a fan of Peter Chan's films... didn't like COMRADES, ALMOST A LOVE STORY (1996), thought HE'S A WOMAN, SHE'S A MAN (1994) was OK, but not spectacular. His films are often injected with a little too much calculated sentimentality to me. Yet after watching WARLORDS (2007), I must say this is the first film that made me feel the calculations worked. Peter Chan learned from the mistakes of Zhang Yimou with HERO (2002), HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, and that lame piece of crap CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (2006), he learned that big production and art direction doesn't mean the audience won't expect a good story and direction to go with a film, he also learned that Andrew Lau's triad-gangster-cop INFERNAL AFFAIRS formula can get old if you keep heading toward a beaten path... furthermore, any film that glorifies gangster camaraderie almost means doom with the Chinese film board.
What Peter Chan did was very clever, he actually found a story that allows Andy Lau's affected style of acting to fit the context of a story - WAR. Lau's acting never convinced me in contemporary story lines, but it worked with WARLORDS. In fact, he used all three of the male leads to their type-casted best - Jet Li reprises the hero who sees the greater good but has to accept the fact - that nothing comes without a price, while Takeshi assumes, again, the role of a passive and reluctant hero caught in a crossfire. All the special effects come from the same software you see in big budget films whether it is South Korea, Hollywood, Europe, or Japan, and production value is nothing less than any of the pretty-but-empty period-pieces Zhang Yimou or Chen Kaige tried to fool audiences with... I can see the homage/inspiration from Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW, the original GET CARTER,... there were even moments where I thought I was watching a tribute to John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW or THE KILLER -- WARLORDS (2007) is Peter Chan's best film to date, and while there is plenty of sentimentality in the key scenes, the context and the flow of the story actually lifted it from what could have been melodrama, to quite compelling performances.
Whatever calculations and formulas Peter Chan used on his previous films that I didn't like, the math worked for WARLORDS (2007)... and what results is some of the best performances I've seen from Jet Li that doesn't start and end with just fight scenes...
What I'm amazed with is how a Chinese period film is also one of the better anti-war movies I've seen in a long while.
43 of 81 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?