Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Three Kingdoms of Orient

Three Kingdoms is set in the same period as Red Cliffs and the generation after. They are the same genre - Chinese historical military action-drama, or something. Cavalry opera? It's distinct from martial arts films, although there is some overlap. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a different genre from Hero.

Anyway, Three Kingdoms follows one character, Zhao Zilong, played by Andy Lau, from young recruit to general to his final battle. The story is narrated by Sammo Hung, his recruiting sargeant and companion. Lau's character is a great hero, Sammo Hung is more flawed, and more human.

There are great battles in this movie, great fights and action scenes, choreographed by Sammo Hung. They are very stylized, with lots of slo-mo, stop action, etc. I'm not sure it is as successful as straight-up action would have been, but it's clearly an artistic choice.

All in all, a good entry, but I can't call it a great one. I'm afraid I blame Sammo Hung - Although his action direction is brilliant, I can't help think of him as a buffoon. And this movie isn't a comedy at all, it's a very serious look at the futility of warfare, and the sad life of even the greatest warrior.

1 comment:

mr. schprock said...

If you want to see a great martial arts fight scene, please watch this. Please.