God of War (2017) Poster

(2017)

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8/10
Excellent historical war and martial arts movie!
Eiriksterminator1 December 2017
Wow, this was one hell of a ride! If you like martial arts and warfare, you NEED to watch this movie! The epic sword fighting scenes in particular, especially the final fight, are a must watch! None of that flying nonsense you get in Hero or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon either, this is (very) fast, gritty, and realistic sword fighting! And you get LOTS of it! There are also several intense and mesmerising scenes of warfare, and there's lots of bloody violence, so you better be ready for that. There is some great cinematography as well. It doesn't have the same kind of high caliber dramatic story or acting as movies like Red Cliff (although these are still good), and there isn't as much fancy strategy as in some other good warfare movies (but it still has a fair amount of it), but the action is top tier! Personally I found this to be one of the most satisfying movies I've watched all year, after having watched tons and tons of mediocre or disappointing movies both from The West and The East this year (including many I had high hopes for...). So if you like warfare and warfare strategy, martial arts, and especially sword fighting, or all of the above, then definitely watch this as soon as you can!
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9/10
Epic historical movie done right
phanthinga13 September 2017
I don't often watch historical Chinese movie but with God of War(2017) it a different story.Directed by Gordon Chan starring Sammo Hung,Wenzhuo Zhao and a handful of talented actors God of War deliver anything you want from a epic historical movie.The stand alone fight scene is well choreographed and the big action set pieces scene is just so bloody and brutal.Many fan of Sammo Hung will disappointed with this movie cause the real star is Wenzhuo Zhao when he sold the role as a brave general that also very afraid of his wife.It not the best movie China can offer but in the meantime it sure gonna entertain many people.Strongly suggest watch on theater
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8/10
Great historical battle film from director Gordon Chan
dworldeater26 November 2017
God Of War is a pretty solid period war/action movie from director Gordon Chan(who directed some of my favorite movies, Fist Of Legend and Beast Cops). This is probably the best acting performance to date from leading man Wenzhuo aka Vincent Zhao. He is brilliant in the fight scenes and there is quite a bit of battle action to go around in this picture. The choreographed action looks great and is very fluent, but complex. The film also looks very sharp and has good character development and pacing. Sammo Hung appears only briefly, but has a memorable cameo and good chemistry with leading man Wenzhuo Zhao. The legendary Yasuaki Kurata gives a powerful performance as Japanese general and gives a lot of empathy and insight to the Japanese side of this historical conflict. This film has elements of Red Cliff and Warlords, but most reminds me of Korean movie The Admiral Roaring Tides. All above are quality productions and highly recommended and I am very impressed by this excellent film.
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7/10
A decent flick with strengths and weaknesses
akwonghuynh18 June 2018
I watched this on Netflix, and their discription of the film was something along the lines of "a maverick leader and a clever young general take on the Japanese pirates amid bureaucratic intrigue in Ming Dynasty China". In reality, the film is more "a clever young general takes on Japanese pirates" with bureaucratic intrigue in Ming Dynasty China as a mere backdrop. The film does alllude to bureaucratic politics in the first half of the film, but it is left to the wayside into the second half with no mention of it at the conclusion of the story. We're sort of left hanging about the characters who appeared in the first half that were involved in the politics of the Ming Dynasty.

The second half of the film focuses on two battles - and that's fine. However with a fairly crowded cast, some of the characters' death are left me feeling unempathetic. Had the film focused on developing these certain characters more in the first half of the film, it would've been more impactful. We simply didn't get time to grow attached to the characters that die.

Personally, I think the movie would've been better if it just focused on the general chasing the pirates and with very light sprinkles of his maverick leader trying to get him the funds for his army. Then the first half of the film could focus on the general training his troops, and the second half can be the battles. The movie also gets bogged down with comedic scenes between the General and his wife. I found it touching and funny, but it did make me stop and wonder when the battles were going to happen, this film is around the 2hr mark.

However, these scenes were all to humanise the General and his wife, who plays an integral part in one of the battles later on in the film. She ticks the standard "badass waifu" that we all wish had our backs, and the actress does a pretty good job of convincing me that she's exhaustedly and desperately hacking away at Japanese soldiers.

Now it would be jarring to see a 5ft6 petite woman carving her way through katanna wielding troops, but the film does it in a way that she manages to get the jump on them in the heat of battle, rather than going toe to toe with countless men. And of course, a few people have to bail her out in battle - she's not a Mary Sue (which is to be expected because Asian cinema knows how to write strong yet not overpowered female characters) So point in favour to the creative minds behind that.

Next up, I appreciate how the film takes the time to develop the Japanese characters, from the wise leader, to the young and honourable samurai, and the dishonourable ronins. The film makes a clear distinction that the ronin are the ones doing the messy work, and are barbaric in their behaviour much to the disgust of their samurai leaders. The samurai aren't the cliche evil Japanese characters we see so much in Chinese film, which is a nice change of pace for once. "Ip Man" was a bit too heavy handed on the anti-Japanese sentiment.

Finally we have the action. It's good, no shaky cam and well choreographed scenes make it worth the wait. It's no "Red Cliff", but it is more than adequate and not as fantastical as other similar epics such as "The Curse of the Golden Flower" - which is a good thing.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and the battle scenes definitely made up for the wait.
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6/10
Sumptuous war epic
RunRabbitRun874 November 2017
There are no less than six production company intros before God of War has even begun, giving an idea of the amount of money and co-operation necessary to make this film possible. Fortunately, they come together to pull off some of the most impressive battle sequences seen this decade. Unfortunately, God of War has similar pitfalls to other films of this genre and blockbuster Chinese films in general; a distinct lack of human engagement.

The year is 1557. A Japanese invasion force made up of trained samurai and bloodthirsty mercenaries have taken the Chinese coastal town of Cengang. After his previous success against such 'pirates', it befalls the renowned General Qi (Wenzhuo Zhao) to finish the siege and purge this great force from China for good.

What could have been outright propaganda, rapacious Japanese against the noble Chinese, is actually a somewhat layered film with established characters and motives on both sides of the fight. The respect of the filmmakers passes down to the leads, the rivalry of Qi and Commander Kumasawa (Yasuaki Kurata) reminiscent of Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) and his French adversary in Master and Commander.

God of War is attentive to a fault when it comes to historical authenticity, a middle section bloated by talk of an internal Chinese politics that never impacts the narrative at large. An early element of the plot is a Japanese general imprisoned on the Chinese mainland; this isn't followed up on as the plot progresses.

As a lead, Qi is a cipher. The audience never really feels his irritation at the Chinese higher command, nor at the sacrifices he and his men must make for victory. Great effort is made to mourn characters thinly established.

The most enjoyment I had with any of the characters was Lady Qi (Regina Wan). While at first her subplot feels as if it is going through the motions to justify a female lead, as the film progresses and she becomes more integral she is a joy to watch, asserting herself both against her husband and the Japanese invaders.

Where the film really stands out is not in character development but in its set-pieces. The film opens with a visceral attempt to lift a siege, and every battle henceforth is an escalation. Gunpowder (a Chinese invention) explodes across the screen. Even in the heat of battle, director Gordon Chan can focus on visual flourishes as tiny as the twist of a spear. A minor point is that the definition of the Japanese army is 'pirates', which makes me wish there had been a little bit more plundering and naval warfare.

The film makes a success of its martial arts sequences, hand to hand combat deftly interwoven with the clashing of armies. The highlight is when Qi faces off against a miner in order to secure his service, in a sequence that comes closest to any social subtext in the film.

God of War is the sort of film the Politburo loves to see, a spectacular and historic representation of an ascendant China. It's also far more watchable and authentic than this year's mess, The Great Wall. Alas, God of War stands as more a film of spectacle than substance, and while enjoyable at times may not linger in the memory. The wait for Chinese films that can combine Sixth-Generation character study with state-approved high production budgets continues.
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7/10
Good...
RosanaBotafogo30 January 2021
A good plot, more engaging than normal for the genre, did not have flights, dances in the air during the fights, but good fights, with all the charm and lightness of the Orientals ... A little long, which makes it a little tedious, because the plot is good, but it's not that impressive... Among the antagonists I highlight the character and the performance of the Pirate Samurai, great ending...
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8/10
Enthralling, Elegant with Exceptional Cinematography and Plot maneouvres
futuretype29 January 2018
My preference is for period pieces over modern day settings (especialy not the Hong Kong cop thrillers). I watched this a day after rewatching the "Seven Samuri" and was inrtigued by the number of blunderblusses available given there were only three in 7 Samuri (set some decades later). Also I learned this must have taken place in the pre-isolationist period of Japan as they were trying to take over coastal China through pirate cloaking. I enjoyed the many subplots: ronin trying to be samuri, peasants trying to be soldiers but especially the singlemindedness of General Qi's wife.

The film's cinematography (composition, colour, camera movement) was reminiscent of Kagemusha, the Shadow Warrior. The Japanese and Chinese were given a balance of presentation and at times I was not sure who to root for. Intrigues at the Chinese court placed the story line at another level. The Japanese general kept to the lie that he was no more than a pirate. An honourable undertaking in capturing this little known period (to Westerners at least) with elegance, elan and enthralling story telling.
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9/10
Historical accurate and entertaining movie
eggyaya7 October 2018
It is a great movie, accurately telling the history between Japan and China in Ming dynasty. I especially love the 1-1 fight scene of General Qi and Commander Kumasawa and the languages were spoken in both Mandarin and Japanese. It also showed the characters of Chinese and Japanese. If you know nothing about the history, you might get bored, but you will enjoy this movie very much if you know a little bit of the story.
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8/10
Pleasantly surprised; awesome final fight scene!
facesofine6 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I kept skipping over this movie due to the violence expected in such a war movie. But I finally gave in just so I could remove the movie from my queue and I was pleasantly surprised to find an engaging, well-acted, historic movie. Bloody fight scenes were done without excessive violence (as compared to other war movies). So at least I could sit through those without feeling nauseated. There were some plot lines that caused me to scratch my head, such as why the general's wife was so agitated by the general. And the final, closing scene showing her waiting for him then disappearing into the house, closing the door, was puzzling and didn't quite make the impact. Other than that, there were many memorable moments to savor, especially the final showdown fight scene--epic! This is not a propaganda movie by any means: if your country is attacked by pirates, from any country, you'd do your damnedest to protect it and drive them away, wouldn't you? The movie presented the pirates' side with equal respect and dignity. I agree with another reviewer that there were times I didn't know whom I should be rooting for. The Japanese General, in particular, was presented as noble, dignified and clever in warcraft, and his love for his nephew shone. He could have escaped, but he stayed; for the shame of returning from a failed war campaign was too great to bear. So the captain went down with his ship. And he showed great humility, to boot. When the Chinese General asked him for his name, his response was simply, what's so important in a name. He deemed his stature as a great samurai being relegated to just a pirate, per se, was degrading to his name. And this proud samurai chose to die his own way. I couldn't help but respect the character.
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7/10
Well-mounted and cast
Leofwine_draca25 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
GOD OF WAR is another fine historical war flick made as a collaboration between China and Hong Kong. It has that Hong Kong sensibility in the many action sequences, which are well-choreographed, gruesome, and hard-hitting. The film is one for lovers of Chinese cinema, featuring roles for two Hong Kong film legends, Sammo Hung and Yasuaki Kurata, and both get to show their mettle in some skilful one-to-one combat scenes. The rest is a mix of politics, strategy, and characterisation in the best Asian sense. There's a rather slow midsection but some great early battle sequences and a ferocious climax which lets rip for around 40 minutes or so.
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Boring and stupid
MovieIQTest10 September 2017
This is a very traditional way that Chinese movie makers kept doing. Slow tempo, wasted lot of money on settings, costumes, attire accessories, uniforms, weaponry....formatted dialog, predictable scenarios.....rigid 1 dimensional acting, no-brain directing, etc and etc.

But among all of these clichés, the worst in this film is the pathetic soundtrack. The first viewer has already pointed out this awful arrangement, but the problem of the western styled music is not just that bad, it's problem the music director or soundtrack supervisor used a music that got nothing to do with every scene, it just repeatedly played on and on; in fighting scenes, in the camp, during dialog, it just played on with the same tune, same tone. It's the soundtrack that bothered me so severely, so I just have to quit watching. What a stupid and boring movie. Another living example how the Chinese movie makers never understood how to spent the budget wisely. The fighting scenes are okay, but they were ruined by the emotionless soundtrack.
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4/10
What..? No seriously WHAT?
fallguy_jack19 September 2017
All four stars for only, ONLY introducing Qi Jiguang to people who aren't aware of him. While I'm sure that's most people, this "film" is also a massive disservice to an amazing warrior.

I realize Chinese film is notorious for putting a Chinese favoured twist on events, but this leaves the border of ludicrous far behind. To clarify, I don't mind wire stunts (i recall only one in this), I know what the symbolism is. That kind of ludicrous can't touch this. As if that weren't enough, plot holes and ridiculous logistics (they can't even keep the numbers straight) totally ruined any chance of me liking this movie even a little, I had to force myself to watch it to the end.

To add insult to injury, Sammo is barely in it, which feels like robbery - but maybe he saw what was going on and ran for the hills... I sure would have.
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4/10
Too long and boring.
deloudelouvain10 May 2019
For a historical movie I have to admit I'm not too impressed by the result. Not that I had a very high opinion of Chinese movies before starting to watch God Of War, as most of the time you have alot of actors or extras overacting. For example it all feels unnatural when you see them running around, never saw anybody run this way (there is absolutely no way any Chinese will win a race if they all run like that). The only good thing about this movie are some fighting scenes but even those could have been much better. The movie is just too long, too repetitive, and to be honest their strategies are just becoming boring after awhile. It didn't do it to me and I'm pretty sure I won't be the only one that will be disappointed.
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9/10
No lull in this war movie
drystyx16 February 2022
This Japanese vs. Chinese war film is action packed, never a dull moment.

There are shades of Kurosawa, I dare say, in the way we get the character development entwined with the action in a perfect blend.

My only problem is that I'm American, and I have a hard time figuring out who is who, and which side is which side. Yet even I caught the significance of the characters. I'm just not really sure which ones survived along with the ones who obviously survived.

I'd probably just have to view it again. It's a very incredible epic film, and there isn't one boring second in this. Even the dialog is exciting., and I was listening to dubbed dialog and reading subtitles. When a film can defeat translation problems this well, it's a smash.
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9/10
Nice historical/fighting movie
movie_addict29 June 2020
I enjoyed watching this movie. I gave it only 9 stars because I felt that the relationships between the characters, husband-wife, friendships between soldiers and army men (generals, officers etc) were lacking substance. There is a lot of room for improvement regarding these connections between the characters but the movie compensate this fact with good fighting scenes and war strategies. Overall you will not be disappointed if you watch this movie because it is what it said it would be: historical war movie from 1575 China.
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10/10
Cool factual war drama - with a whiff of Chinese propaganda :)
Dr_Mark_ODoherty6 May 2022
Very nice factual film - even if somewhat exaggerated - about Qi Jiguang - who was a cool Chinese military general and writer of the Ming dynasty.

Qi Jiguang is best known for leading the defense on the coastal regions against wokou pirate activities in the 16th century (as well as for the reinforcement of the Great Wall of China).

Qi is also known for writing the military manuals Jixiao Xinshu and Lianbing Shiji "Record of Military Training", which he based on his experience as a martial educator and defensive planner in the Ming military forces. Needless to say, he is regarded as a hero in China - as depicted in this fine film :)

Cool portrayal also by Yasuaki Kurata, as Japanese general Kumasawa - who is depicted as a cunning and sly fox, with a quirky sense of humour - unlike the Chinese generals, who are all depicted as super serious :)

Being a believer in reincarnation, I'm pretty sure that I was General Qi Jiguang in a past life. (as well as a bunch of other generals in past lives :) But now I have liberated myself from this negative karmic bondage - having become a true and omnipotent NGO Peace Activist :)

So I recommend the same to all other generals in the world - in particular Russian generals - that they encourage Vladimir Putin to make Peace with Ukraine - so that Peace and Prosperity can be restored in the International Community :)

PS: In view that former PM Shinzo Abe recently died from an assassination attempt - who was one of the greatest Peace activists in the world - our thoughts, our prayers are with him, with his family, with the people of Japan. May he rest in Peace.

Furthermore, I also would like to emphasize, that I would have been quite willing to take the bullet for him - if that would have saved his life :)
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9/10
OMG the ending was INSANE
investorman30 March 2018
The Japanese (bad guy during that time of Qi dynasty) Leader Guy took the secrets to his grave!! That was one hell of the most epic fight I have ever seen!
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5/10
Chinese propaganda with good martial arts
bkids-0956211 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
1. Typical Chinese anti-Japanese propaganda movie. Even a handful of Chinese women can defeat thousands of Japanese pirates, with males dealing the final blow. 2. Proper leadership (like Xi jinping) can defeat all comers. 3. Women can fight, but in the end, they should stay home and wait for their husbands. Just what the Chinese government wants for its women.

The five stars are for the fighting scenes, which were choreographed pretty well. Costuming was pretty good.
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1/10
The trash made this last century
peymanock218 January 2019
The trash made this last century .The trash made this last century. The trash made this last century .The trash made this last century .The trash made this last century .
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2/10
Stupid and corny movies
jduong-7681124 December 2017
Why they still make a stupid and corny movies now a day? ;)
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