Da missus and I caught the world premiere of The Warlords last night at the Empire Cinema. My very first impression of the movie as it started was, “Gee this looks familiar…” The movie is set in the 1860s, during the Taiping Rebellion in the late Qing Dynasty in China. The story, based on an unresolved crime, tells of three sworn brothers (played by Andy Lau, Jet Li and Takeshi Kaneshiro) who turn against one another over a beautiful woman (Xu Jinglei)
It wasn’t until later into the film that I figured out why the film looked so familiar. Imagine Spartan, Gladiator, and 300 all rolled into one! Thats why the film was so familiar! From the gruff shouting of bandit leader Andy Lau, to the graphic blood and gore… I am positive that Peter Ho drew at least SOME inspiration from those other gore-fests I mentioned.
That aside, the film is definitely a must watch on the big screen! The cinematography is superb and the innovative use of camera angles to portray the characters’ emotions was brilliant. The minimum usage of CGI was also very welcome after the over-processed celluloid of 300. Its an epic movie executed well and I’d recommend it to lovers of this genre. Two thumbs up!