I just watched a really weird film – “Warriors of Heaven and Earth” (also know as “Tian di ying xiong”). If you have read my recent post about Chinese and Japanese action movies, than you would understand me being surprised about this film. It looks and feels very much like Japanese production, although it is a Chinese film.
It is not purely an action movie though. It is more like the war and history with bits of action. Now, what was so weird about it you would aks me? The film is Chinese and in Chinese language. Luckily there was an English audio track, but the translation was terrible. I could tell it even without knowing Chinese. In order for the audience to keep the grip with their understanding of the world, one of the main characters is a Japanese swordsmen who studied in Chine for most of his life. Film is very slow paced with dramatic pauses all over the place. Good production, style, atmosphere, excellent costumes, and great photography, although scenery shots were a bit at a minimum. There is a little tiny bit of martial arts. All fights are with swords. Most include cavalery. There were lots and lots of dead bodies and plenty of blood, although not as much as in any Japanese film. SPOILER AHEAD. By the end of the film everyone does, both good and bad, but the balance is restored and China will enjoy the Golden Age of prosperity from then on.
So, I wouldn’t be all surprised if this film would come out of Japan. But it is Chinese and I am puzzled. It feels like a mixture of these two cinematographic cultures with bits and pieces of both of them all over the place.
From the viewer’s point of view, the story was very poor and simple for an almost 2 hour film. There was nothing special in acting department. There were some good battle scenes and special effects.
6 out of 10.