A Chinese emissary is sent to the Gobi desert to execute a renegade soldier. When a caravan transporting a Buddhist monk and a valuable treasure is threatened by thieves, however, the two warriors might unite to protect the travelers.
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Anthony Chau-Sang Wong
North of the vast 8th century Tang dynasty Chinese empire, the commercially and culturally priceless silk route is controlled by 36 friendly Buddhist kingdoms. Their are threatened by Turkic nomad tribes, the caravans also by brigand bands. Japanese scholar Lai Qimay not return home until the emperor is satisfied with his missions to retrieve refugees from the barren border lands. The last is competent imperial lieutenant Li, who was proscribed for refusing to execute Turkic prisoners. He now lives among fellow warriors for hire as caravan escorts. Lai Qi and Li reach a gentleman's agreement to postpone their lethal duel till after the safe arrival of a caravan including a young Buddhist monk and his mysterious freight. When Turkic warlord Khan's daughter's hand seals an alliance with brigand sword master An, the only way out is trough the grimly dry Gobi desert. Written by
Good, but not great - more of a character study than a kung fu flick
I liked this movie but I was not awestruck by it. It has some excellent characters and a very engaging plot. There are a few lines that will make all but the most jaded filmwatchers smile.
But this movie has a couple of drawbacks which mark it as a notch below other films like "Crouching Tiger" and the infinitely superior "Hero." Both of these films also had excellent characters and stories but were visually far a cut above. A BIG cut.
"Warriors" uses jump-cuts and too-tight camera angles in an effort to hide the fact that many of its stars are not actually martial artists. The resulting fight scenes are very frustrating to watch. Like I said, the plot carries the movie along and it is indeed a good film, but I hate getting snookered by creative editing.
Compare any fight scene in "Warriors" with, say, the extended battle scene between the two women warriors in "Crouching Tiger," most of which is filmed in medium shots that allow your eye to follow the line of action. IMHO this is a lot more impressive. Even the goofy wire work doesn't take away from that.
But "Warriors" is worth a rent. You will care what happens to the characters. And you will see a very nice meditation on the question of what, as people of honor, we must do.
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