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White Vengeance (2011)

Hong men yan chuan qi (original title)
White Vengeance tells the story of two brothers contending for supremacy during the fall of the Qin Dynasty, which ruled Imperial China from 221 to 206 BC. As rebels rose, the nation fell ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Zhang Liang
...
Fan Zeng
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Yu Ji
...
Fan Kuai
...
Han Xin
Qing Xiu ...
Xiao He
Haifeng Ding ...
Xiang Zhuang
Xiang Dong Xu ...
Xiang Bo
Zhi-Hui Chen ...
Xiahou Ying
...
Bearded warrior
Huinan Zhao ...
King Huai II of Chu
...
Female assassin
Wen-Ting Sun ...
One of the Nangong Sisters
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Storyline

White Vengeance tells the story of two brothers contending for supremacy during the fall of the Qin Dynasty, which ruled Imperial China from 221 to 206 BC. As rebels rose, the nation fell into chaos. Liu Bang (Leon Lai) and Xiang Yu (Feng Shaofeng), became leaders of the rebellious army, and also became sworn brothers in battle. Xiang Yu and Liu Bang are close friends who both serve King Huai of Chu. King Huai uses a plot, saying that whoever can subvert the Qin kingdom in Guanzhong would be the Lord Qin, in order to benefit from the competition between Xiang Yu and Liu Bang. Xiang Yu is over-confident. He fights against the main force of Qin army, and entrusts Liu Bang with Yu Ji (Liu Yifei), the woman he loves. Liu Bang expresses his love to Yu Ji and takes the chance to invade Guanzhong first when most of Qin army is outside fighting against Xiang Yu's army. Xiang Yu is furious & betrayed when he found it. Xiang planned to kill Liu at a banquet held in Hong Men, during which Zhang ... Written by umutsuslu

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Action | Drama | History

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29 November 2011 (China)  »

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White Vengeance  »

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2.35 : 1
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Enjoyable battle of wits
26 April 2012 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Tells the story of The Banquet at Hongmen, an event that marked the transition from the Qin Dynasty to the Han Dynasty in Chinese history.

Liu Bang and Xiang Yu are leaders of insurgent forces who work together to defeat the last remnants of Qin forces, but then each set their eyes on becoming emperor of the new dynasty. They both turn to their respective strategists, Zhang Liang and Fan Zeng, for advice. The advisors each formulate plans in an attempt to ensure their sponsor's success over the other, and engage in a battle of wits and cunning to achieve victory over their opponent. The opposing forces both put their plans into action starting at a banquet at the Hongmen Gate. Whose cunning will prove to be greater, whose foresight will be longer? Who will emerge victorious in the end? White Vengeance is a gorgeous production of suitably epic proportions, built around a well written script that succeeds in bringing these historical events and characters to life. The battle of wits, cunning and bravado makes for a great story, and the cast have been well chosen to fill their roles. Anthony Wong is particularly good as the aging, blind strategist, but the show is nearly stolen by Jordan Chan in a supporting role that gives the film two of its most memorable scenes. The presence of Liu Yi-Fei, whose face is surely the strongest argument for the existence of God that man has conceived, is of course most welcome.

The film has a number of battle scenes, which are generally very well executed. CGI is obviously used to make the massive armies seem truly massive, but is mostly eschewed for any close-up combat situations, with good old-fashioned people and the occasional wire, and just the occasional bit of CGI when somebody needs a sword, arrow or spear to go through them without alarming the film's insurance company unduly. This makes for some highly satisfying scenes of combat and carnage.

It's the dialogue and the characters that make the film though. Unfortunately, things do get a bit derailed towards the end with some scenes that are simply overcooked, and performances that lose their subtlety and break the illusion that we really are witnessing events as they unfurled. It's a shame, but the flaws aren't sufficient to undo the good work that comes before them.

Recommended.


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