A Film Review By Jason L. King
Rating:Rated for violent sequences
Starring:Kîchi Nakai, Xueqi Wang, Yun Zhou
Directed By:Ping He
I’m no expert on Asian Cinema. I’m going to flat out tell you this, before I am criticized for making comments that will upset some of the die-hard Asian Cinema fans. If you are one of those people, kindly disregard my review. You are going to chalk this one up to I don’t know it’s context or it’s point anyway.
Those of you who did decide to keep reading, Welcome to my short and sweet review of Warriors of Heaven and Earth. The flick tells the story of an Imperial Guard who hunts down a criminal in the desert. The Guard finds the criminal and his friends escorting a caravan across the desert. But when a band of thieves try to attack the caravan the guard and the criminal must work together to get the caravan to it’s destination.
Warriors of Heaven and Earth was nicely shot, and cinematically it looked great. The director did a nice job with sets and drawing out the natural beauty of the desert land he was filming in. The story was decent, and flowed well from start to finish with two very solid characters. Acting was great by both of our lead characters as well.
What I did find annoying about the film was the Subtitling. Whoever was in charge of subbing the flick decided to use white subtitles. The film was Very light and many scenes were very bright making the white subtitles on a near white background distracting and hard to read. Shame on them for doing that! I also felt the story starts to unravel in the second half and becomes ridden with tiny little flaws and nit picky annoyances that I won’t really get into. Most of these things can be over looked though. What does stand out to me is the CGI- Buddhist relic scenes that felt out of place and kind of silly. Had the film played up that part of the story line a little more, that part may have felt a little more meaningful to me. I do admit though, perhaps being an American I did not understand some of culture and since I had trouble reading the subtitles at times maybe I missed something that explained it all.
In the end, I enjoyed Warriors of Heaven and Earth, but not enough to strongly recommend. Asian cinema is gaining a lot more success in America year after year, proof of this lies in the Successes of Hero. And while this film is good, it’s nothing I think the average moviegoer is going to really enjoy. If you are a fan of Asian cinema, go check out Warriors of Heaven and Earth, but if you are relatively new to the genre or just claim ignorance and know nothing, save your money and pick it up on video some time.