The Warlords is a Chinese language movie set against the backdrop of civil war in 1860’s China.
Jet Li stars as General Pang who at the start of the film has just suffered a huge defeat and is severely injured. After being nursed back to health by a local peasant women the General falls in with bandits Zhao Er-Hu (Andy Lau) and Jiang Wu-Yang (Takeshi Kaneshiro).
What follows is a powerful story of courage, loyalty and betrayal in which Pang rises to power before disappointing those who followed him.
This is a visually stunning movie with a wealth of great locations and some truly impressive crowd and battle scenes and something about the tone of the ‘night before the battle’ scenes reminded of the Matthew Broderick film Glory.
About 35 minutes into the film is a huge battle sequence, the action is relentless and bloody but never overdone and the choreography is nothing less than awe inspiring. This is complimented by a rousing soundtrack
It would be a pity if people dismissed this as a martial arts film (not really the case) or allowed themselves to be put off by the fact that it’s a Chinese language film because its actually a thought provoking and intelligent film, well written and decently acted. And let’s be honest, the number of new films one can say that about grows shorter every year.
Ideal if you’re in the mood for something a little different from the usual Hollywood offering.
The Warlords opens at cinemas on November 7th