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.
As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate.
A high school swim champion with a troubled past enrolls in the U.S. Coast Guard's "A" School, where legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall teaches him some hard lessons about loss, love, and self-sacrifice.
Episodic saga from the first half of the 20th century follows Hero Hua from an ill-omened June day in his youth to a showdown 17 years later with a disaffected member of his martial-arts ... See full summary »
A band of medieval mercenaries take revenge on a noble lord who decides not to pay them by kidnapping the betrothed of the noble's son. As the plague and warfare cut a swathe of destruction... See full summary »
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton, disguised as school masters. During a brutal Manchu attack, Lui manages to escape and... See full summary »
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
This is not a Kung Fu action movie, so those looking for fight scenes will be disappointed. It is a thrilling story of two warrior knights acting under their own sense of honor and called to action in circumstances beyond their control, against the backdrop of the turbulent and multi-cultural Silk Road. China being the vast country it is has birthed many such thrilling adventures of wandering warriors, itinerant mercenaries, Buddhist monks and pretty maidens. Think of romance or adventure novels based on the Middle Ages! The thrill of the story is to watch the two warriors meeting, one supposedly as the imperial agent sent to eliminate the renegade and intent on his mission, the other as the free agent warrior trying to live a life according to his own personal code of honor. When the two of them unite to fight hordes of greedy bandits, we see hand to hand combat, pursuits on horseback and sieges of a fort.
The unusual angles in this movie, for most movie goers, comes from the time and place: the warriors are from 700 A.D, a T'ang Dynasty era. The location is in the far western reaches of China and the locales are not traditionally "Chinese". The landscapes change from mountainous to woodsy to desert. There are thrilling scenes of camel caravans and desert towns and forts. The protagonists wear battle gear and the long hair of that period, which remind me vividly of French and English knights and crusaders of that era! The final siege of the desert fort reminds of the male warrior bonding in desperado scenes like in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"; or the "Alamo"; or the "Three Musketeers".
The Buddhist relic transported by the caravan reminds me of the Catholic relics from dead saints found in many mystery or adventure stories based on the Middle Ages. The finale reminds me of the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when the bad guys seem to be on the edge of acquiring the treasure, only to be annihilated, leaving some of the good guys to move on...
It is great entertainment and gives one yet another view of the Chinese culture about warriors of its complex past.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?