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The Warlords (2007)
"Tau ming chong" (original title)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20,636 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 59 user | 101 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »

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Title: The Warlords (2007)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
General Pang Qingyun (as Lianjie Li)
...
Zhao Er-Hu (as Dehua Liu)
...
Zhang Wen-Xiang (as Wu Jincheng)
Jinglei Xu ...
Xiaodong Guo ...
...
Zongwan Wei ...
Bao-ming Gu ...
Kuirong Wang ...
Bo Zhou ...
Yachao Wang ...
Xiao Yun Wang ...
Peng Guo ...
Ailei Yu ...
You Zhang ...
Edit

Storyline

It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about the killing of general Ma Xinyi. The story was filmed by Zhang Che in 1973 as The Blood Brothers. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 2007 (China)  »

Also Known As:

The Warlords  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,073 (USA) (2 April 2010)

Gross:

$128,978 (USA) (14 May 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main battle sequence had a detailed script treatment of over 20 pages and a maximum of 8 cameras rolling simultaneously. See more »

Goofs

25 minutes into the movie, the curse word "gou ri de" (literally: dog, Japanese, of) was used. The expression means "Japanese dog" which originates from the Japanese invasion during World War II. The movie takes places in the 19th century, so the expression had not come about yet. See more »

Quotes

General Pang Qingyun: to Zhang Wen-Xiang: Let them eat. It's their last meal
Zhao Er-Hu: But I promised to spare their lives!
General Pang Qingyun: Winning is all that matters in war!
Zhao Er-Hu: A man who breaks his word is a beast!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Movie Friends - Eine Videothek stellt sich vor (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Peter Chan's anti-war effort & a tweak with the HK gangster genre
21 December 2007 | by (Hong Kong) – See all my reviews

I'm not a fan of Peter Chan's films... didn't like COMRADES, ALMOST A LOVE STORY (1996), thought HE'S A WOMAN, SHE'S A MAN (1994) was OK, but not spectacular. His films are often injected with a little too much calculated sentimentality to me. Yet after watching WARLORDS (2007), I must say this is the first film that made me feel the calculations worked. Peter Chan learned from the mistakes of Zhang Yimou with HERO (2002), HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, and that lame piece of crap CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (2006), he learned that big production and art direction doesn't mean the audience won't expect a good story and direction to go with a film, he also learned that Andrew Lau's triad-gangster-cop INFERNAL AFFAIRS formula can get old if you keep heading toward a beaten path... furthermore, any film that glorifies gangster camaraderie almost means doom with the Chinese film board.

What Peter Chan did was very clever, he actually found a story that allows Andy Lau's affected style of acting to fit the context of a story - WAR. Lau's acting never convinced me in contemporary story lines, but it worked with WARLORDS. In fact, he used all three of the male leads to their type-casted best - Jet Li reprises the hero who sees the greater good but has to accept the fact - that nothing comes without a price, while Takeshi assumes, again, the role of a passive and reluctant hero caught in a crossfire. All the special effects come from the same software you see in big budget films whether it is South Korea, Hollywood, Europe, or Japan, and production value is nothing less than any of the pretty-but-empty period-pieces Zhang Yimou or Chen Kaige tried to fool audiences with... I can see the homage/inspiration from Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW, the original GET CARTER,... there were even moments where I thought I was watching a tribute to John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW or THE KILLER -- WARLORDS (2007) is Peter Chan's best film to date, and while there is plenty of sentimentality in the key scenes, the context and the flow of the story actually lifted it from what could have been melodrama, to quite compelling performances.

Whatever calculations and formulas Peter Chan used on his previous films that I didn't like, the math worked for WARLORDS (2007)... and what results is some of the best performances I've seen from Jet Li that doesn't start and end with just fight scenes...

What I'm amazed with is how a Chinese period film is also one of the better anti-war movies I've seen in a long while.


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