For one reason or another I’ve never watched a whole chinese martial arts movie so when my friend Scott invited me to a preview screening of the new CGI “Wuxia” (fantasy kung fu film) Storm Warriors I went along to give this film genre a try.
I’d describe the movie as a combination of martial arts, matrix bullet time and “300” like action scenes. Don’t expect a complicated storyline, this a comic book plot with good guys on a quest to learn the neccessary skills to overthrow an evil lord trying to take over their country.
The visuals were of course spectacular. Take the bullet time style seen in Matrix, amp it up to the max and replace bullets & leather costumes with swords, fireballs and flowing cloaks with metallic armour. I thought the movie must have cost a lot of money to produce considering the quality visual effects but apparently the budget was a mere US$12 million.
The translated subtitles could have been tweaked a bit to make them less literal and add some background information for western audiences who don’t understand what the characters are saying.
The plot involves Lord Godless & his evil henchman son Heart capturing the emperor and trying to take over China. Lord Nameless sends Wind, Cloud & Piggy King (they really should have used a different English name) to Lord Wicked so they can learn how to fight better.
Wind and Cloud consult Lord Wicked (a Yoda-like character who has moved from the dark side to the light) to train them.
He says it would take a 1000 years of being righteousness for Cloud & Wind to learn the necessary martial arts skills to beat Godless but they could achieve the same in a mere few days if they devote themselves to evil … which choice will they make and will they be able to regress from their evil state at the end?
“Storm Warriors” premieres in Australia on December 10, released on the same date and day as Asian cinemas so fans of CGI Kung Fu can watch it immediately on a big theatre screen and don’t have to resort to piracy.