AN EMPRESS AND THE WARRIORS
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Ching Siu Tung
What's it about
In ancient times, a young girlís father is killed. Now, she must take over as empress and take out the evil that threatens her kingdom.
Is it good movie?
You know, I hate the old mantra that if youíve seen one, youíve seen them all but in this case it may be true. I will be the first to admit that Iím not really a huge fan of the whole ďCrouching TigerĒ sort of film. I think theyíre beautiful, epic and sweeping but Iím never all that emotionally invested in them. I dug Jet Liís Hero, but I digress. Ultimately, it feels like these movies end up being a really fancy way to show off how cool Japanese armor is.
Weíre here with another war-torn China epic, as two warring states escalate things by assassinating emperors and adding in forbidden love. Of course, her general is in love with her and thereís a jealous young cousin who is thinking mutiny. To be honest, this flick reminded me a bit of Robin Hood, in the way the plot was structured. With that being said, the romance stuff in this flick feels awkward and forced. Can the empress choose between two men? Who cares?
Do you like watching veteran Donnie Yen staging epic battle scenes? Well, there are lots and lots of them, but none are particularly memorable. Donít get me wrong, none of them are overly awful, but none of them really rock you. Again, thereís some good stuff but thereís not a lot of range of movement allowed in those heavy suits and it all just feels so familiar.
I guess there just isnít much else to say about this one; it looks mediocre, and it is. Everything about it is quite middle of the road.
Video / Audio
The picture is noted to be in widescreen, but has no aspect ration listed. Itís fairly sharp, with decent colors.
Audio comes in Dolby 5.1 and can be presented in Mandarin or an English dub. If youíre going to watch these movies, donít watch them in English, people. The sound is decent enough, with a fairly average mix.
First up is a making of featurette which runs about 25 minutes long and is pretty standard, and barely in English at all. It gives a bit of insight but unless youíre really interested in how this film came to be, Iíd likely skip it.
Also, you get a commentary from Dragon Dynasty alumni Bey Logan. I donít really know who he is, but he sure does make for a decent listen on a commentary track. Surprisingly, I listened to the whole thing without shutting it off.
Ultimately this movie will likely only satisfy fans of Chinese historical epics. It certainly isnít horrible, but if youíre only a casual fan you wonít notice a thing to distinguish it from its bigger budget brethren.