Warriors of Heaven and Earth

Anybody hungering for a good old-fashioned Western needs to check out Warriors of Heaven and Earth, which–although it’s set in 7th-century China–has all the valor and spectacle of a John Ford picture. It also has a goofy supernatural streak, forAnybody hungering for a good old-fashioned Western needs to check out Warriors of Heaven and Earth, which–although it’s set in 7th-century China–has all the valor and spectacle of a John Ford picture. It also has a goofy supernatural streak, for the chopsocky crowd. The opening 10 minutes or so offer an alarmingly convoluted plot, but it swiftly settles down. What’s going on is that a long-exiled Japanese hit man (Kiichi Nakai), hired to kill a renegade Chinese warrior (Jiang Wen), temporarily teams up with his quarry in order to escort a camel caravan along the Spice Road. Of course, they are menaced by a brutal warlord, and beautiful Zhao Wei (So Close) is mixed in there too. Director He Ping (Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker) captures some magnificent vistas in the Gobi Desert, but more importantly he sketches the codes or honor and behavior essential to any such tale. –Robert Horton

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About Dragon Mystic

I fell in love with dragons when I read Tea With the Black Dragon, and never looked back. Not the clunky winged Medieval dragons that ate cows, the graceful Asian dragons that could fly without wings. Later I discovered the elegant Welsh dragons, red and white, as described by R.J. Stewart in his books on the historical Merlin.
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2 Responses to Warriors of Heaven and Earth

  1. Prestina Thompson "SciFi/Fantasy Addict" says:

    I was blown away….. I am a HUGE fan of martial arts films, and passed over this movie a million times at BEST BUY. I wasn’t particulary impressed with the cover art and the story line involving the “supernatural” seemed uninspired as well ( I was scared it was going to be horribly cheesy). Boy, was I wrong. One night while mooning over when the House of Flying Daggers would be out on DVD I decided to order this movie through entertainment on demand. My only regret is that I didn’t just buy it in the first place because it was definately worth it. The best thing to me about the film was that it truly attained the status of being an epic adventure. You become attached to the characters, you forget that this is an alternate reality of 7th century china. The bad guys are SCARY, the good guys just don’t seem to measure up to to them. China itself is at stake. The swordplay is masterful. What more can a girl ask for? Sort of like Lord of the Rings (of course nothing compares to LOTR but you know what I’m talking about), the final battle left me breathless, I was sooo nervous that the good guys just weren’t going to be able to pull it off. Now, logically I know that the good guys almost ALWAYS win, but in this movie I was able to forget that, suspend my disbelief and just go on the journey with them! Anyway if you’re looking for a Crouching Tiger that’s not what it is. It’s not as…Hollywoody…so you’re not going to get all the flashy special effects. (Which to my mind isn’t too bad as the flying through the trees bit in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a little too much for me). What you will get is a compelling story line, characters that you admire and care about, good action, and a stellar ending.

  2. Grady Harp says:

    Another Epic in the Chinese Genre WARRIORS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH sets out to be exactly what it is – a simple story about vengeance and action with enough narrative to justify some mighty fighting scenes. The one aspect that keeps this particular entry in the choreographed flashy swordsmanship category is the rather weak acting of most of the players. Whether it is the scripted development of the storyline or the editing or the fact that director Ping He is trying to make both an intimate and a grandiose historical epic, the flow is just so disjointed that the viewer eventually gives up on trying to figure out who is who and settles back for the visuals.And the visuals are lovely – the Gobi Desert has rarely been captured on film with such grace, the fighting scenes are brutal without unnecessary focus on bloodletting, and the musical scoring by one A.R. Rahman is more than additive.Recommended for escapist evenings and for the beauty of the photography. And that is enough. Grady Harp, January 2005

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