Musa (The Warriors) (Musa the Warrior) (2001)
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as Sgt. Jin-lip
as Gen. Choi Jung
as Princess Furong
as Yuan General
as Lt. Ga-nam
as Ju-myung the Interpr...
as Ji-san the Monk
as Ha II
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A disparate collection of travellers including soldiers, diplomats, and refugees are thrown together in 14th century china as they are pursued by the Mongol army . Known as The Warrior in the UK, this historical epic inevitably draws comparison to Hero and House of Flying Daggers, but actually is more in the tradition of Kurosawa than those more fantasy based offerings. Clearly owing debts to Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress in particular, it's also influenced by John Ford's cavalry films in that it takes the time to explore all of the characters involved and the rich collection of antagonistic factions and conflicting loyalties make for a much more interesting character dynamic than most. It may not have the artsy visuals and production value of the projects of Zhang Yimou or Ang Lee but the grittier approach makes for a beautifully crafted historical adventure with just the right balance of heroism and believability, with beautifully shot locations and grippingly realistic, bloody battle sequences. Although it was a co-production with the Chinese film industry, Musa still deserves recognition as one of the films that marked the coming of age of Korean film making and is one of the best Asian historical epics of recent years.
This is an epic re-telling of the Kurosawa masterpiece Seven Samurai. This Asian (South Korean/Chinese) film made good use of that figure, with sometimes disturbing, but very well done fight scenes and in general, beautiful cinematography. This is a journey from start to finish. For all 2 1/2 hours, the group is journeying, and survives much longer than they expect. The characters were tremendously developed. Even peasants getting killed made you sad, because he or she had been given some screen time and you got to know them somewhat. Later on, it's an emotional rollercoaster, as familiar faces start to go down en masse in one final, epic battle.
Fast and bloody action, complex characterization and subtle character interactions, great cinematography, ferocious battles and insights into death, glory and the human condition that would do Kurosawa, or even Homer, proud.
Just don't expect "wire-fu" because Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Yu Rong Guang (Iron Monkey) are in it. There's enough sword play, spear fighting and archery that the "wire fu" isn't missed. The third act drags a bit but there's enough action to keep one entertained.
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