Monday, May 29, 2017

GOD OF WAR 荡寇风云 Movie Review


Synopsis

During the 16th century, Japanese pirates proliferate along the Chinese coastline. In 1557, the pirates take over Cengang in Zhejiang. After months of futile advances, Commander Yu (Sammo Hung) finally defeats them under the leadership of newly promoted General Qi (Vincent Zhao). The pirates, however, manage to escape.

No sooner has Qi identified the key weakness of the Chinese army than he starts remapping the coastal regions to eradicate the pirates. When he finds the villagers of Yiwu loyal and courageous, he drafts them into his own army which soon becomes a formidable force against the pirates, with tactics developed specifically against them. In 1561, the pirates regroup and once again attack the coastal cities of China. With both the cities of Xinhe and Taizhou under attack, Qi's army is caught between two fires.

Even though most family members of his soldiers are located in Xinhe, Qi makes the tough decision to go to Taizhou and leaves his wife in charge of the fight against the pirates in Xinhe, knowing that the defeat of the pirates’ elite team in Taizhou will bring long lasting peace to the coastal cities.


But one month into the battle of Taizhou, there is still no clear winner and loser....

Production Information

Distributed by
MEDIA ASIA FILM DISTRIBUTION (HK) LIMITED

Presented by
MEDIA ASIA FILM PRODUCTION LTD
BONA FILM GROUP CO., LTD.
EAST WAVE FILMS GROUP CO., LTD.

Co-presented by
HUAXIA FILM DISTRIBUTION CO., LTD.
MEDIA ASIA DISTRIBUTION (BEIJING) CO., LTD. SHANGHAI SHENGYUE DRAMA AND FILM MEDIA LTD. HUBEI YANGTZE RIVER FILM GROUP CO., LTD.
SUN ENTERTAINMENT CULTURE LIMITED

Production
PEOPLE'S FILM PRODUCTION (BEIJING) CO., LTD.

Executive Producers
PETER LAM,  YU DONG,NI ZHENGWEI

Produced by
CHENG CHUN PONG PAUL

Directed by
GORDON CHAN

Administrative Producers
CHAN HING KAI, SHIRLEY LAU, CHEN QINGYI
QIAN DAJUN LIANG WEINIAN

Screenplay by
XIONG ZHAOZHENG, MARIA WONG, FRANKIE TAM
WU MENGZHANG

Starring : VINCENT ZHAO, SAMMO HUNGWAN QIAN, KOIDE KEISUKE, 
KURATA YASUAKI

Director of Photography
ISHIZAKA TAKURO (JSC)

Production Designer
YAU WAI MING ALFRED

Costume Designer
WONG PO YEE

Japanese Costume Designer
WADA EMIKO

Original Music
SHIGERU UMEBAYASHI

VFX Director
WONG WANG HIN EDDY

Sound Designers
TU DUU CHIH CHIANG LIEN-CHEN

Length : 128 min


ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

GORDON CHAN

A veteran Hong Kong director and screenwriter, Gordan Chan has directed many best-selling movies in Hong Kong and China, including Beast Cops, 2000 A.D., Fist of Legend, Painted Skin and The Four trilogy.



ABOUT THE CAST & CHARACTERS

VINCENT ZHAO as Qi Jiguang
A Ming Dynasty general famous for fighting against the Japanese pirates, Qi was  revered not for his physical prowess but for his knack of making heroes out of his companions.

Best known internationally for playing Wong Fei Hung in Once Upon a Time in China IV & V, Wushu champion Vincent Zhao also appeared in many action movies and television series, including The Blade and Hero Cheng Sing Kung which earned him a Best Actor nomination at the Golden Rooster Awards.


SAMMO HUNG as Yu Dayou
An upright commander who had fought side by side with Qi, Yu was Qi’s boss before Qi got promoted. Since he was not keen on ingratiating with the capital officials, he was repeatedly framed and had a bumpy journey during his army career.

A legendary Hong Kong action actor, Sammo Hung has starred in over 75 and worked in over 230 films. His performance in Painted Face has won him Best Actor at the Asia Pacific Film Festival and the Hong Kong Film Awards. His role in Ip Man 2 also won him Best Supporting Actor at the Asia Film Awards.

WAN QIAN as Madame Qi – Wang
The daughter of General Wang Dongzhi, Wang married Qi at the age of 18. She was no ordinary lady in her generation who would spend her life reciting poetry and painting. Wang had been well trained in martial arts since childhood and was more capable than most men of her times.

Wan Qian was born on May 14, 1982 in Hunan, China, also known as Regina Wan. She is known for Paradise in Service, The Laundry Man and Threads of Time.


KOIDE KEISUKE as Yamagawa
The descendant of the shogun who was the mastermind behind the Japanese pirates, Yamagawa was good at long gun operations. Young and inexperienced, he was eager to make his name in the invasion of China.

Keisuke Koide was born on February 20, 1984 in Tokyo, Japan. He is an actor and is known for Cyborg Girl, Kisaragi and Feel the Wind.


KURATA YASUAKI as Kumasawa
The commander of the joint operation of pirates and ronin, Kumasawa was extremely competent in the use of terrain tactics to fight a long and weary war. He aimed to win any battle without a single casualty.


Kurata was born on March 20, 1946 in Ibaraki, Japan. He is an Actor and producer, he is known for Fist of Legend, So Close and Blood: The Last Vampire.

Review

The movie provides audience with a visual treat of war fought in both open ground and tight building area. It is a challenge of war strategy between the Japanese pirates and the Chinese army. 



Nowadays, most war movie do not have a strong storyline but this movie choose to be different. It has a storyline filled with love, humor, respects and patriotism. There also the portray of pirates who go for money and women. The movie also try to send a message of respects to women which is uncommon in the early China. 


The epic fights are enjoyable to watch. The use of inventive weapon by the Chinese during the war was interesting. I have not seen such a weapon being used in any war film. Is there really such a weapon for close combat. You need to watch the movie to find out what is this interesting weapon. 


Overall the movie is interesting and sometimes gripping in some scenes. It just make me sit up with excitement. The subtle humor also contributed to the lighter moments in the movie. Well directed and executed by the actors. I will give it a rating of 4/5. A worthwhile movie to watch if you are Chinese war film fans. It will be showing in cinema on the 1 June 2017. 














Movie Trailer


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