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The Warlords (2007)

Tau ming chong (original title)
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2:08 | Trailer
Set in China in the 1860's during the Taiping Rebellion, the story is based on the assassination of Ma Xinyi in 1870. Loyalist General Qingyun is the only survivor of a battle with ... See full summary »

Directors:

Peter Ho-Sun Chan (as Peter Chan), Wai Man Yip (co-director)

Writers:

Tin Nam Chun (screenplay), Junli Guo (screenplay) | 6 more credits »
18 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Gordon Chan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jet Li ... General Pang Qingyun (as Lianjie Li)
Andy Lau ... Zhao Erhu (as Dehua Liu)
Takeshi Kaneshiro ... Jiang Wuyang (as Wu Jincheng)
Jinglei Xu ... Liansheng
Xiaodong Guo ... Huang Wenjin
Jacky Heung ... Shi Jinbiao
Zongwan Wei Zongwan Wei ... Lord Chen
Pao-Ming Ku ... Lord Jiang
Kuirong Wang ... Lord Di
Bo Zhou Bo Zhou ... Lu Dashan
Zhaoqi Shi ... He Kui
Yachao Wang Yachao Wang ... Gouzi
Xiao Yun Wang Xiao Yun Wang ... Fu
Peng Guo Peng Guo ... Shun
Ailei Yu Ailei Yu ... Wang Xiaoshou
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Storyline

Set in China in the 1860's during the Taiping Rebellion, the story is based on the assassination of Ma Xinyi in 1870. Loyalist General Qingyun is the only survivor of a battle with anti-Qing rebels. He encounters a starving village, whose inhabitants engage in banditry to survive, where he is nursed back to health by the attractive Liansheng. With his strength regained, Qingyun impresses one of the village bandit leaders, Jiang Wuyang, with his fighting skills. Wuyang introduces him to his "big brother", who also happens to be Liansheng's husband, Zhao Erhu and Qingyun begins to assist them with their raids. Qingyun convinces his two new comrades to form a loyalist army unit to fight the rebels and feed their own people. The three men swear a blood oath. Their stunning military successes impress the governing powers, but as Qingyun's influence begins to grow, they soon fear him. The political and emotional stakes will be tested, leading to differences between the blood brothers. Written by Sonja Pavkovic

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

12 December 2007 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

The Warlords See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,073, 4 April 2010

Gross USA:

$129,078

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,875,914
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

During battles, the horses fall down without being hit. Clearly they were tripped by wire. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Cuts were required to the UK version to remove all sight of animal cruelty (horses being made to fall forward onto their necks), in accordance with the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. See more »

Connections

References Paths of Glory (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Jet Li's War and No Peace
27 April 2008 | by janos451See all my reviews

From the Warring States Period going all the way back to the 5th century BC, wars have wracked China seemingly without pause. During the second half of the 19th century, and the late Qing/Ching/Manchu dynasty, some 50 million soldiers, bandits, and civilians died in the endless conflict.

Watching "Warlords," screened for the first time in North America Saturday night in the Castro Theater, part of the San Francisco International Film Festival, at times one might have thought that most of those casualties are shown - often in close-ups - in the film.

Beginning with a view reminiscent of the Normandy invasion sequence of "Saving Private Ryan," the film by Peter Chan and Wai Man Yip depicts combat vividly and intensely. Chung Man Yee's production design peaks at times in virtually unprecedented battle-field spectacles.

There is no resolution, no peace, and only a quasi-relevant love story (featuring Jinglei Xu), but "Warlords" goes well beyond just fightin' and killin' and dyin'. Right from the beginning, as Jet Li's General Pang picks himself up from under the bodies of his dead soldiers, you notice two things: Jet Li's complete lack of vanity and the ability of this martial-arts star to act convincingly and well.

The Manchu style of the head shaved in front and the hair gathered in a ponytail in the back looks hideous when it's all messed up, especially with blood. Jet Li not only appears half dead in his first appearance, but he is taking a bad-hair day to its absolute worst. And then, you also notice that Famous Jet Li - who is NOT flying through the air in this film - has been replaced by an honest and talented actor who brings to life a complex, conflicted, tragic character.

With shifting alliances, goals, and always at the edge of extinction, Pang and his two "blood brothers," Takeshi Kaneshiro's soulful Jiang Wuyang and Andy Lau's towering Zhao Erhu (perhaps Lau's best-ever performance), struggle from small-time wars all the way to the taking of Nanking on behalf of the fast-fading central (so to speak) government in Beijing. The same history-based story has been told, in more modest terms, in Zhang Che's 1973 "The Blood Brothers." A historical war film, a brutal but not gratuitously violent drama, "Warlords" impresses, even stuns, but in the end fails to provide catharsis or even an attempt to make sense of the senseless - something Zhang Yimou came close to in "Hero" (also with Jet Li, playing a similar historic character).


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