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.
Ling Wu Chung decides to hide from the chaotic world. Before leaving, he visits his friends, a tribe of snake-wielding women warriors. However, he finds that the tribe have been attacked, and their leader Yam Ying Ying has been abducted.
Jiang Wen stars in his third directorial work that boasts a stellar cast including Joan Chen, Anthony Wong and Jaycee Chan. A polyptych of interconnected stories in different time-zones, ... See full summary »
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong
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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
Warriors of Heaven and Earth is a decently made movie with some good plot developments.
The fighting scenes. All of the fighting scenes were done relatively well, being more towards the real side of battle, instead of the fighting scenes from the other big names (Hero, House of Flying Daggers). My only complaint with the action scenes, is that nobody is affected by the death of their comrades. I understand you cannot stop fighting unless you want to join your brother in heaven, but they all took their deaths as the grim reality. I suppose in a way, it is more realistic (we're all going to die anyway, maybe he was lucky to get to heaven sooner). The camera work and plot however did do an excellent job of making you feel sorrowful when a character died.
The romance. Wait, excuse me, romance? Vicky Zhou? What?
This point nearly ruined the movie for me until I got back into the mindset of hey, there are good fight scenes, let's enjoy them. Vicky Zhou's character is completely extraneous and was a waste. Although her voice is nice as the narrator of the story, and she still has a pretty face, she was utterly useless. Not only did she not fight (unless you call the one to two minute scene in the end "fighting"), she had about 10-15 minutes of full, on-camera footage - mostly devoted to questioning Li's criminal activities.
Overall. Lai Qi (Kiichi Nakai) and Li Zai (Wen Jiang) carry the entire movie. It's interesting that Jiang is not in the credited cast as he probably had the most screen time in the entire movie.
Should you see it? There are a couple things to take into account. 1) If you're not used to HK films, this isn't a good one to start with, unless you abhor the Chinese humor in older less epic films 2) It will probably make you depressed. Maybe it's just me... What else has made me depressed you might ask? Let's see: So Close, Hero, House of Flying Daggers...
I give it a 7 out of 10. I had hoped for something slightly better, but then again, it was realistic and the final battle scene reminded me of what the LOTR battle for Helm's Deep would have been if the good guys hadn't all survived -- Classic.
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