God of War
“The battles are wonderfully dynamic… (Gordon) Chan gives them an extravagantly epic scope… and an often startling intimacy” – Peter Vonder Haar, VILLAGE VOICE
It is the mid-16th century and Ming-dynasty China is not only strained by political strife but also under attack along its coastline by the wokou – Japanese pirates and their seditious local allies. The brigands are ravaging villages and terrorizing the citizens, and have hunkered down in a seemingly impenetrable stronghold. Commander Yu (kung-fu cinema legend Sammo Hung) and his imperial soldiers struggle courageously to breech the enemy’s defenses, at great cost in lives but with no success. Yu is a fierce and formidable leader, but his stubborn will prevents him from breaking from established military traditions. Not so the gracious, clever young General Qi Jiguang (Vincent Zhao, of THE BLADE, GREEN SNAKE, and other Fantasia classics), who arrives with some daring and innovative tactics. The wokou will not be so easily driven out, though, not under the guidance of the wily samurai general Kumasawa (Yasuaki Kurata, grizzled veteran of countless key fight flicks from both Japan and Hong Kong).
Reuniting Hung and Kurata, two titanic icons of martial arts movies, after 30 years, and showcasing the charisma and combat skills of wushu champion Zhao, GOD OF WAR has a cast to match its gritty grandeur and historical potency. It’s the latest from another cornerstone figure in Asian action cinema, tirelessly triumphant director Gordon Chan (FIST OF LEGEND! BEAST COPS! PAINTED SKIN! You name it!). This isn’t just an awesome, extra-large-scale battlefield epic that Asian cinema excels in, it’s a memorable moment in world of martial arts motion pictures, celebrating the greats of the genre’s golden age while bestowing the mantle on Zhao, a top-ranking silver-screen champ for the new era!
- Rupert Bottenberg