- Feb 24
- THE WARLORDS: Review
- Posted by Deljhp - 24/02/09 at 12:01 AM
Director: Peter Chan. Review by Tim Irwin.
Imagine an historical war/action epic film, starring Jet Li, Andy Lau, and Takeshi Kaneshiro. Now think of how awesome it would be if it was well made and coherent. Throw in an extra dose of tragedy, and you have The Warlords. It's 1861, and a bedraggled Jet Li pulls himself out from underneath a sea of bodies. He's the sole survivor of the army he was commanding, but now he walks like a dead man. He stumbles down a road filled with refugees fleeing the fighting of the civil war, in which Teiping rebels are trying to defeat the Ching Dynasty. A woman stops to help him and cares for him through the night. The next day he gets caught up with a band of thieves and travels back to their village. This is an epic, so to avoid taking an hour to describe the plot I'll be brief. Pretty soon he makes a blood brother pact with the two leaders of the village and they and the bandit gang join the regular army to fight the rebels. As they get closer to the primary rebel city, the power and authority that comes with their success causes problems within the triumvirate. This leads to several dramatic scenes that make the film worthy of being called a tragedy
If one goes in expecting a full tilt action movie, you will be disappointed. There is a lot more going on here. And, though the scope is epic the runtime doesn't exceed two hours (at least in the international version that I watched). Amazingly enough, the film holds together quite successfully while juggling the massive plot. One reason, perhaps, is that the number of primary characters is kept to a minimum. There are enough to identify with each one and understand their personalities, but this isn't an ensemble film. The action reminded me of Musa in a lot of ways. It's dusty and dirty in a lot of the landscapes and battlefields and the fight scenes are bloody and violent. More than one limb gets lopped off, though never in an exploitative or sensational way. In fact, some of the more sombre violent scenes are left to the imagination in a rare (and welcome) instance of restraint in the genre. But you will enjoy the action....Continue reading review.
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