6.7/10
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Battle of the Warriors (2006)

Mo gong (original title)
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.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Andy Lau ... Ge Li - the Mohist
Sung-Ki Ahn ... Zhao Commander Xiang Yan-zhong (as Sungki Ahn)
Zhiwen Wang ... King of Liang
Bingbing Fan ... Liang Cavalry Chief Yi Yue
Si Won Choi ... Prince Liang Shi (as Siwon Choi)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Siu-Ho Chin ... Liang General Niu Zi Zhang (as Siu Ho Chin)
Tin Chiu Hung ... Zhao General Gao He-yong
Yongjian Lin ... Cai Qiu
Xinyi Liu Xinyi Liu ... Colonel
Li Peng Li Peng ... Cai Qiu's wife
Shaan Price Shaan Price ... Yuan Yu
Pengfei Qin Pengfei Qin
Wu Ma ... Royal Tutor of Liang
Nicky Wu ... Liang Archer Zi Tuan (as Qi-long Wu)
Lixiao Yang Lixiao Yang ... Girl spy
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Storyline

In 370 B.C, China was separated as seven nations and several other small tribes, one of these being the city state of Liang. The nation of Zhao is led by the terrifying prime commander Xiang Yangzhong who orders his troops to launch an attack on Liang in a bid to conquer the small city. Leaping to the defense of the cowed people of Liang is a warrior who goes by the name of 'Ge Li' from the Mo-Tsu school of thought, renowned for its defensive skills, respect for simplicity and peace, and belief in universal love. He is their last hope as the terrors of Yangzhong's troops are unleashed. The future of Liang now hangs in the balance, with all their hopes pinned on the mysterious Mo-Tsu warrior Ge Li... Written by Ben

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

China | Japan | South Korea | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

23 November 2006 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Battle of the Warriors See more »

Filming Locations:

China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Hot-air balloons may have been used for military signaling in China as early as the film's era. (According to tradition they were invented a few centuries later.) However, hot-air balloons of the size shown in one battle scene did not exist until at least 2000 years later. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Battle of Twits
22 March 2011 | by OttoVonBSee all my reviews

This film is based on Bokko, one of the finest Japanese manga ever crafted, about one man - Ge Li - sent to defend a besieged city in ancient China. Andy Lau here plays the main character, effectively downplaying his super-stardom with a delicate, subdued and humble performance. Apart from him, we get epic battles with twists, a couple of very nifty strategic ideas, and all the grievances and politics of the besieged city of Liang come to a boiling point. Ge Li has to fight enemies from within and without.

Chinese filmmaking often draws upon that nation's very rich literary heritage, and it's often exciting to see the best it has to offer when that heritage blends with great aesthetics backed up by an important budget. "Hero" comes to mind of course, probably as the pinnacle of the genre. But even that film belies a worrying trend in mainstream Chinese film: ideological bullying. Back to this in a second...

Technically, the film is of course very competently made, the period and city are created to perfection, even if the visual style is never more than generic. Where things begin to go sour is in the characterizations. The source manga has very rich, complex characters, and while it is unfair to condemn a film under 3 hours for failing to capture the wealth of a 400+ page graphic novel, one wonders why the filmmakers did not cut content for the sake of depth rather than the opposite. A lot happens very quickly, and it is very hard to care for anyone but Lau's Ge Li. This problem is further compounded by the apparently chronic irrationality of many characters: they act in frustrating ways, seemingly just because the film requires them to in order to complicate the hero's predicament.

On the previously mentioned ideological front, things become downright risible. The source manga is a tribute to the value of the individual and the vices of the ruling class. On the other hand, the film suggests (word for word in one scene) that only unity will end war in China, and the leader of the invading army is made into a far more compelling human being than any of the inhabitants of the besieged city.

In the end, the film is a case study in how filmmaking by committee leads to bland and idiotic results: nonexistent character, crude ideological content, spectacle for its own sake and a total absence of personality.

But it has two good things going for it: first, it might get you to read the infinitely superior manga. The second reason is a man named Andy Lau.


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