Sunday, 24 October 2010

Film Review: The Storm Warriors.

I love watching martial art films, in fact I think I love a lot of genres, but going by all the films I have reviewed so far on my blog, I have never mentioned a comedy!! I think I like the 'escapism' part of watching a film, which is probably why my favourite genre is Fantasy...and Comedy may be my least favourite as it is the most 'real' and something I am exposed to everyday...and anyway, I get plenty of comedy from the genres I like the most anyway.
Back to my review, The Storm Warriors is directed by The Pang Brothers and is the sequel to The Storm Riders which I didn't know until I finished watching the film!! However, I had read that it was not really a continuation and was a story on its own, brilliant!
The 'warriors' are Wind (Ekin Cheng) and Cloud (Aaron Kwok) who are up against a Japanese Warlord called Lord Godless. OK, just to make a quick mention about the names...the first 10 minutes were so confusing but humorous at the same time as I could not keep track with who was who!!! Other names that come up in the story are Second Dream, Heart, Chu Chu (this was OK to remember), Nameless (I felt like this was some sort of test?!) and Piggy King - yes, Piggy King!Anyway, I quickly got used to it and was able to put the name to the face...as obviously, when their names are translated into English - it just doesn't suit them! I wonder if it would be easier to just have their names spelt phonetically rather than it's literal meaning in English? Heart is the name of the warlord's son which I don't think I caught onto very quickly as I was naively looking out for a female! Nevertheless, I love unusual names like that which are very common in the Far East.
Back to the story. Wind and Cloud are sent to look for Lord Wicked where he hides himself in the mountains and who is also the only person who has a chance to kill Lord Godless (the warlord). It is difficult to get Lord Wicked to communicate with the two warriors until his niece (and Wind's lover) Second Dream shows up and helps persuade Lord Wicked to show his face. When he appears, he has no arms and explains that he had cut them off himself as when he practised evil Kung-Fu, it had completely consumed him and he killed many innocents. It then becomes clear that this is a case of evil versus evil for a chance in winning the fight against Lord Godless. I thought this was a bit annoying because why does evil always have to be stronger than 'good'? Nevertheless, it gave the film a brilliant hook. After a test, Wind is chosen to begin practising evil Kung-Fu while Cloud practises a new sword style with Nameless (a martial arts master). The film definitely picks up from this point onwards especially a scene where Wind's training is interrupted and he comes out looking different to when he entered as he now has evil within him and you see him swiftly killing all the enemies with ease, I loved this scene!
Now, I could actually go on a lot longer but I'll leave it for you to watch after I talk about my most favourite scene - the water fight!
This scene is CGI at its best...I loved how it was stylized and the slow motion was great so you could really take it in and it wasn't just a big blur of legs and arms. If you liked the effects in 300 (which I did), you will love this! I was in complete awe of the fighting and makes me wish I could fight like that too! Also, the use of water for this fight scene was absolute genius and helped magnify each and every attack...it was just jaw-dropping! There was a real lack of character development but because the fight scenes were so brilliantly choreographed (if they were even choreographed at all?) I dismissed it completely and would have been happy for the entire film to be made up of consistent fight scenes in different locations! Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng make a great team and are brilliant actors as well as martial artists which I have found to be quite rare as I am still not utterly convinced on Jet Li's acting skills yet.
If you're into martial art films, this is an absolute must-see and if I haven't convinced you yet, check out the trailer below!!!!!!!
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