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Warriors of Heaven and Earth (2004)

Cast: Jiang Wen, Jiang Wen, Kiichi Nakai, more...
Director: He Ping, He Ping
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Action, Foreign, China, Martial Arts, Wuxia, Quest, Revenge
Running Time: 120 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
    see additional details...

Directed by He Ping, the multi-layered Warriors of Heaven and Earth combines traditional Chinese cinema with the hallmarks of spaghetti Westerns. Set in the eastern portion of the Silk Road, a popular eighth century Asian trade route, the film chronicles the stories of two heroes: Tang Dynasty imperial emissary Lai Xi (Kiichi Nakai) and soldier-turned-mercenary "Butcher" Li (Jiang Wen). After having served the Chinese emperor for some 20 years, Lai is eager to return home, though he must complete a final task before doing so; specifically, tracking down Li, as he once led a mutiny against the emperor's orders. Li, meanwhile, is busy recruiting a caravan to help him escort a Buddhist monk to the capital of China. While Lai is successful in finding Li, they agree to postpone their duel-to-the-death until the monk has been safely transported. Of course, after dealing with marauding Turks, the heat of the desert, and local bandits, it becomes unclear whether either man will survive to kill the other. ~ Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Better than Hero, but no Crouching Tiger by DonDiego March 3, 2005 - 4:51 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I had heard about this movie but it never came to theaters where I live. I was excited to see it and it lived up to my expectations. From beginning to end it was engrossing and entertaing. The story was solid, the acting was good, and the cinematography was outstanding. While it did not have all the special effects and CGI fight scenes as we have come to expect from Chinese epics, the story was much more engaging and less frustrating than Hero. If you enjoyed either one of the aforementioned movies, you will not be disappointed by this one.

Epic Fable of China (and a little Japan) by talltale December 11, 2004 - 3:17 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I suspect WARRIORS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH got lost this past year in the shuffle of "Hero," "House of Flying Daggers" and other martial arts-type movies from all over the globe. Too bad, since this is nowhere near a true martial arts film. More like a combo Western-Eastern-Arabian Nighter, "Warriors" is a ravishing treat from beginning to end. It may take some time to acclimate yourself to its story and characters, but don't give up: Once you begin to understand the relationships and plot, you'll be hooked--and probably in the "wild horses couldn't tear me away from this" mode. The story combines history, fable, heroics, mysticism, a long trek across desserts, forests and other terrain (all filmed to perfection, and the dvd transfer is sterling) and a cast of characters right out your favorite western--but with a distinctly eastern slant. The cast is more than capable and director Ping He ("Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker") does a bang-up job of putting everything together. I debated adding this one to my queue; I sure am glad I did.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.60)
55 Votes
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