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|Index||12 reviews in total|
The appearance of Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies and then Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon piqued my interest in the lady's earlier films and when this one came up cheap on DVD, I jumped at the chance to acquire it. I am glad I did. It is not the greatest film I have ever seen, but it is good fun and includes some good fight stuff. Michelle Yeoh looks terrific and does some great fight scenes, and all with a great sense of fun. This is one film not to be taken seriously and the result is a great way of spending 90 minutes. If you like mindless action with a touch of humour, then you could do a lot worse than this film. Check it out.
The movie certainly delivers enough, whether you are a die hard fan of Hong
Kong cinema, or a casual watcher. It has strong production values, amusing
comic relief, and of course a great deal of action. Once again, Michelle
shows her stuff, and she is spectacular to watch.
Still, even though this is a very entertaining movie, I couldn't help but feel that the movie was spinning its wheels a bit too often. Some scenes do seem to go on further than they should. I also got the impression that the antics would be wilder and over the top (a la DR. WEI IN THE SCRIPTURE WITH NO WORDS) than they ended up. It seemed like it would be more "epic". But that's a minor complaint, and the movie does make up for it with a gargantuan battle at the end!
I saw this for about the third time last night, mildly inebriated and had a wonderful time. It's essential viewing for Michelle Yeoh fans, as she gives one of her most ass kicking performances whilst looking sweet throughout. She plays a sort of female Indiana Jones type with nifty kung fu skills, and whups numerous bad folk from start to finish, ably supported by Tung Shing Yee. The plot is a standard heroic Chinese take on weaselly Japanese type affair, as our heroes seek to prevent the building of a poison gas factory in a mountain town and rescue its sympathetic leader Youda, well portrayed by Lowell Lo as a slightly weak and fuddled but basically good patriotic guy. Richard Ng provides the most obvious laughs with his swindler character, again, basically a good guy and the whole crew are an engaging lovable bunch. The Japanese are all pretty villainous and are helped out by leg fighting genius and veteran bad guy Hwang Jang Lee. The film is simply great entertainment throughout, with a fairly light tone and plenty of laughs. The choreography and stunt work is top notch, making for real thrills and the pace is fast. At times the budget seems lower than it should have been but this doesn't hurt too much, the only real problems are the final block and the underuse of Hwang Jang Lee. In the last twenty minutes or so the film goes into more of a battle mode and neglects the martial arts, which is a real shame. Criminally it does not give us a proper final fight scene and the conclusion is a tad unsatisfying. Also, Hwang Jang Lee doesn't get to do much of his trademark awesome leg work, nor is his character up to the standards of the thoroughly mean folks he has played in the past. It made me a bit sad, especially what with his roles in Drunken Master or Snake In The Eagles Shadow, to name just two. Another, more minor issue for me was that despite the copious amounts of bullets and arrows flying about, barely a drop of blood is seen in the movie. I don't expect Lone Wolf And Cub style violence in these films and I know the film was trying to be light hearted, but it definitely would have given the final third more of a punch. Still, these are small issues compared with how much joy I got out of watching this. Fans of Michelle Yeoh or Hong Kong action from the Eighties definitely need to check this one out.
And any fans of hers will want to see this thoroughly entertaining romp. A big-budget picture that doesn't skimp on plot or its sometimes-hilarious script in showcasing Ms. Yeoh's considerable talents (including a great scene with a whip!), THE MAGNIFICENT WARRIORS delivers on all counts. Don't miss!
Michelle Yeoh might not be a trained martial artist, but with her
background as a dancer, lots of meticulous choreography and more than a
little help from Hong Kong cinema magic, she is suitably convincing as
a kick-ass kung fu cutie. Here, she plays a female Indiana Jones-style
character, a daring aviator and mercenary who, with help from a secret
agent (Derek Yee) and a wacky con-man/wanderer (Richard Ng), helps the
people of a small Northern Chinese town to fight the evil Japanese
invaders who want to build a poison gas plant on their land.
As is often the case with '80s Hong Kong actioners, Magnificent Warriors suffers from a touch too much screwball silliness (mostly courtesy of comic relief Ng) and some lightweight flirting between Yeoh and Yee, all of which would be excusable if the action, of which there is plenty, was sufficiently exciting. Unfortunately, the countless explosive set-pieces and fast-moving fight scenes never really set the pulse pounding: there's lots of crash, bang and wallop, but very little that sticks in the mind as jaw-dropping, making it a frustratingly mediocre adventure overall.
This movie begins as a comedy about spies and a gambler who has to support them unwillingly, but in the second half it turns into a war drama with a rapidly increasing body-count. It seems to play (no exact date given) after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria 1931. Obviously, as a Chinese production it can not be expected to be neutral on history, therefore is eager to show patriotic Chinese who burn down their home town before it falls into the hands of the enemy. "Dynamite Fighters", aka "Dynamite Heroes" on European DVD, seems a bit chaotic, but the action moves so fast you don't think much about it, and young Michelle Yeoh is tireless kicking everyone who doesn't get out of her way. I loved the opening scene when she is the pilot of an airplane and steals from those who have stolen from others. It's good fun most of the time, but in the end didn't entirely fulfill my expectations.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Magnificent Warriors is an enjoyable and entertaining movie with a lot
to recommend it, especially the excellent, athletic prescence of the
fantastic Michelle Yeoh. Still, it drags and feels a little limp in
places. For instance, the two opening fights during the plot setup are
explosive, impactful and a lot of fun, but after that nothing really
happens action-wise until 20 minutes later.
The film stop-starts all the way through, making it a bit frustrating for an experienced viewer. It's no more stop-starty or inconsistent than US or European action fare like Transporter or Red Siren, but it seems patchy and messy in comparison to other Hong-Kong adrenaline-rides like Full Contact or Yeoh's later Wing Chun. Both movies keep a consistent level of action without sacrificing their story lines.
They also have strong, non-wacky story lines. Magnificent Warriors is a horrific mess in the plot department. Take Indiana Jones, substitute the Japanese for the Nazis and substitute Michelle Yeoh for Harrison Ford and you'd think it'd rock. You'd almost be right, but the director and his writers decided to try and make some political points with it and turn it into a patriotic pro-China movie...as such it gets kind of messy and biased.
Still, it's a Michelle Yeoh film. If you're a fan, which I most certainly am, you won't be disappointed with this. Yeah, OK MW blows its two best fights in the first 20 minutes, but there's a lot of good solid action going on here, and though Yeoh isn't as central as I would have liked to preceedings (given she's the only one here who can act her way out of a paper bag) she has some fantastic set pieces and humorous lines to fight/charm her way through.
If you like Michelle Yeoh, watch this, it's a good film and above all it's fun and she showcases both her fighting talent and her charm in equal measure. If you're indifferent to her and just want an OTT blast, there are much better HK actioners out there, you'd probably fare better with say Eastern Condors or Full Contact, both of which are off their rocker and full of chop-socky and gun-play.
I found the blend of action and humor in this film to be very entertaining. Michelle Yeoh does some incredible stunts, including imaginative use of rope in one sequence. Richard Ng does some pretty slick moves too. Also the actress who plays Chin-Chin does some impressive fighting. If you like Michelle Yeoh films, or even Jackie Chan films, this really should be right up your alley. Incredible stunts, and very funny dialog, this was a real treat to watch.
This movie is oddly enough the essence of Hong Kong cinema, back from
the late 1980's. The story is fairly simple, and spiced up with comedy
elements, while the main focus of the movie is the martial arts and
The story is about a small group of people who has to rescue a guy from the clutches of Japanese invaders.
"Magnificent Warriors" ("Zhong Hua Zhan Shi") has elements of action and martial arts, obviously, and also elements of comedy and drama. There is sort of a light-hearted Indiana Jones touch to the movie as well.
Michelle Yeoh does put on a good performance here, martial arts and action-wise, as the movie is not heavy on dramatic acting performances.
If you enjoy martial arts movies and/or Asian cinema in general, then you should watch "Magnificent Warriors" for the action that it is.
"Magnificent Warriors" finds its leading star, Michelle Yeoh, in top form: her speed and dance-like grace make her fight scenes a pure pleasure to watch (she's also good with a whip....and a rope....and a spear....well, you get the idea). And as a bonus, there is another girl, the beautiful and feisty Cindy Lau, who fights as well! Richard Ng, perhaps better known for his role in the "Lucky Stars" films, provides the comic relief, and he's actually quite funny here. The action offers a good mix of martial arts and large-scale battle scenes, and the story is (after the first 30 minutes) engaging and at times even inspiring. The production is spectacular and the music score appropriately epic. If you want to see an Asian take (plus a female twist this time) on the Indiana Jones formula, this is a much better choice than Jet Li's "Dr. Wai And The Scripture With No Words". (***)
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