Warlords (Tau ming chong) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Warlords (Tau ming chong) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 4, 2011
A triumphant epic adventure in scope and in incredible battle sequences. A spectacular and exhilarating action-packed adventure. A fierce, brutal, tremendous and breathtaking movie. A wickedly well-crafted and designed piece of spic movie-making. It's thrilling, deeply moving and very powerful. Jet Li gives a strong and excellent performance, one of his best ever. Andy Lau is magnificent. Takeshi Kaneshiro is dazzling. These three stars give triumphant performances and work great with one another. An explosive and fearless action movie that delivers and it's totally unforgettable. A brilliant and extraordinary movie.
Super Reviewer
September 17, 2010
I've heard that Jet Li will no longer do historical-period movies. I've also heard a rumor that he may be retiring from the movie business altogether. This to me is very sad news and/or rumor all the way around. After all these years, it has become so apparent that he is finally growing into a first-class actor. Sure, he came in for the martial arts flash -- and after all these years, he can still deliver some pretty amazing physical work. But in addition to slogging through the kung fu grinder, he has also, wonderfully, grown into such a good actor along the way. Even should he limit his work to less demanding physical material from now on, I truly hope he keeps up his acting career until he really can't manage it at all anymore.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2010
An extremely well done movie, the cinematography is like no other war epic. The story is powerful and one of the most emotional stories of brotherhood. Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro are great together. They all turn out wonderful performances that make the movie more than just an anti-war statement. The early battle scenes are beautifully done, as are the dramatic scenes that take place later on. It's an epic, but truly rooted within the characters rather than the war itself or even the politics.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2010
A powerful, emotional epic about war, brotherhood and the bonds that bring men together... and how they eventually break apart.

Three of Asia's finest combine to play three men drawn together to make a blood pact. Led by their Big Brother, Pang (Jet Li) a General in the Ching Army, he enlists the aid of two bandit leaders (Kaneshiro and Lau) to help form an army to conquer their enemies and provide safety for their families.

Its a bloody spectacle, this one. After the audacity of Kill Bill, more and more movies are taking the bloody approach to violence, including missing body parts and plenty of blood.

But the movie is not just about war, its politics, honor, intrigue, love and of course - betrayal. the movie goes through depicting the brother's relationships through the tempest of war, broken promises and loyalties. Eventually, it reaches breaking point and all that they have worked to achieve together will become undone as their blood pact ensures their fate. And enemies and political power will make sure that none of them survive.

A massive bloodletting, it does well to create the story, characters and emotion, and we do see it in a downward spiral to the abyss. A story with no happy ending.

Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2007
Jet Li, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau unite to play three blood brothers who lead a bandit army to victory during Chinese civil war in the mid 19th century. There is something very WESTERN about Warlords. Perhaps it is the reliance on big star names rather than a rich ensemble cast. Perhaps it is the committee written script (although I fail to see why so many names needed to be attached to such a sparse affair). Perhaps it was the fact that all the attention to detail and effort went to the bombastic slo-mo battle sequences. Whatever it is, Warlords felt far more like something in the vein of Alexander than Hero or Crouching Tiger. There is a real lack of humanity about it, and the barely sketched out characters did little more than spout sound bite style platitudes about honour while they showed their "depth" by shedding a tear when doing what "must be done" (ie butcher innocent, unarmed people). In fact there is a real dubious morality about it all, it smacking of the kind of fascist apologism of 24, particularly during the Kaneshiro speech when he finally "understands" about having to kill to do the right thing which left an especially nasty taste in my mouth. I didn't really care about any of the characters, only Andy Lau's garnering any sympathy at all, and their relationships and characterisation are less than minimal until the final act when at long last some mildly interesting political machinations come into effect, although even then the blatant misogynism of Kaneshiro's "solution" to the brothers feud is less than pleasant. As is the case with nearly all of its Hollywood counterparts, the spectacle of Warlords is worth a watch, but everything else about it is soulless, mechanical and ill conceived.
Super Reviewer
August 7, 2009
Another big battle epic set in China's past. Some of the battle scenes are very good and the acting is impressive but the overall story just wasn't that interesting to me. It just sets up one battle up after another really. Curse of the Golden flower was visually more impressive and has a better storyline to it. The two are very similar.
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 2007
Jet Li takes the lead in this remake of 1973's Blood Brothers, which is light on fast footwork and plays as a grand-scale tragic war movie about a doomed visionary.
In his martial arts film, Li is usually a slim Buddha, effective in action but otherwise bland. Here, with a none-too-well-shaven head, he delivers a different, powerful performance as a complex anti-hero. Lau matches him as the honest thief agonised by his friend's ruthlessness. Given the way Chinese epics go, it's not too much of a spoiler to say both stars get standout death scenes.
Super Reviewer
½ September 12, 2007
Heavy production but weak script, is pretty much a movie build around Jet Li, who does shows that his acting skills can't be debated anymore. But it's just a shame that other characters and situations feel hardly explored, thus, resting emotional weight to the final act. The character of Jinglei Xu pretty much ends up being just a mere plot device instead of a fully developed character. Her chemistry with both Lau and Jet is limited, the script doesn't help there and the girl is not exactly a Gong Li or Maggie Cheung.

I can't say i was bored, but not as engaged as i could have been. That said, the movie is not romantic about war at all, and neither about politics.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2007
Based off "The Assassination of Ma," Warlords may not seem all that impressive at first, but by the ending you will see that there is more to it than meets the eye.The main concept of the story deals with politics and loyalty. You will not really see the true meaning of this from the first part of the film. The story is really unimpressive at the start, as it really does make the film look like a typical Chinese war conquer movie. Luckily, as the film develops, the story unravels, and by the hour mark the film feels really different from where it began. This is a good thing. There is quite a bit of action, but the story and dramatic elements take the front row sit here. The last 15 minutes of the film has little to no action and it still is the best part.This is a wuxia style film and Jet Li is one of the main actors, but this is not a martial arts movie. All the action comes in the form of armies clashing in Lord of the Ring style battles. There is nothing really spectacular about them, unless you are a fan of these types of things.The acting is quite good. Jet Li and Andy Lau pull off the leads, while Takeshi Kaneshiro and Jinglei Xu take the major supporting roles. Jinglei's acting is good, but her character is just a little bland. The story does a nice job at swaying the characters. At one moment you are cheering for Jet Li and the next you are pulling for Andy Lau. You never really feel that there is a true villain in this film.This may not be an epic action adventure, but the second half of the story is enough for you to watch this film.
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2008
This classic partly remake is impressive and provoke human's depravity!
Super Reviewer
April 19, 2010
"The Warlords" starts in 1861 in the aftermath of a great battle where General Pang(Jet Li) is the only survivor. Instead of being in the mood to sing a Gloria Gaynor song(really, really sorry about that), he is depressed at still being alive until being nursed back to health by Lian(Jinglei Xu) who disappears the next morning. Having retired from the killing and maiming business, he sells his armor but not his boots which catch the attention of Zhang(Takeshi Kaneshiro) who is on a recruiting drive for the local bandits led by Zhao Er-Hu(Andy Lau). As formidable as these bandits may be, they are no match for the army of General Ho who betryaed Pang previously. Seeing his opening for redemption and revenge, Pang ends up recruiting the bandits to his own cause of crushing the Taiping rebels.

While occasionally a very compelling and well-photographed bit of history, "The Warlords" goes in too many directions at once to be considered totally worthwhile. First and foremost, it wants to explore the conflict between the military and civilian leadership in a war where we are never exactly sure who is on the right side which is fine. But then, there is Jet Li, so of course, there are fanboys to be pandered to which leads to some extremely cool stunts. As if that is not enough, there is an awkward love triangle. And in the attempt to wrap all of this up, while not anticlimactic, the movie goes on too long with at least two or three possible endings.
Super Reviewer
February 3, 2008
Potential to be a classic war/battle epic, but shaky storytelling and rushed moments hurts an otherwise intense and emotional war movie.
Super Reviewer
½ January 1, 2011
Consistently well executed Chinese war dramas are not rare... this one is set in the midst of war and political upheaval during the Taiping Rebellion of the 1860s... "Warlords" stars Jet Li as General Pang, who barely survives a battle which wiped out his entire battalion. He joins a band of bandits led by a born leader Er Hu (Andy Lau) and a man of honour Wu Yang (Takeshi Kaneshiro). After fighting back attackers from a helpless village, the three men take an oath to become "blood brothers", pledging loyalty to one another until death. Following a vicious attack on the village, Pang convinces Er Hu and Wu Yang to join the army for 3 years, but things quickly turn sour and the three men become embroiled in a web of political deceit, and a love triangle between Pang, Er Hu and a beautiful courtesan Lian (Wu Jing-Lei).

Very violent epic tale of blood-brotherhood, ambition, forbidden love and conflicting loyalties directed securely by the director Peter Ho-Sun Chan. Enjoy over two hours of pure outstanding performances, especially the one of Jet Li (out of the $40m budget he received $13m payment) ... "The Warlords" is not a fairytale and is very realistic - do not expect to see people flying around, kung fu fighting or magic... or you will be disappointed.
Super Reviewer
½ December 15, 2007
Like other epic war movie, Warlords is intense and dramatically good, packed with great actors. Must really understand the war of strategy in order to appreciate the move.
Super Reviewer
½ April 2, 2009
I guess it just wasn't my cup of tea. I'm usually drawn to epic movies, but this one fell more under the category of historical/war film. I loved films like Curse of the Golden Flower, Fearless, Hero, and various other recent Asian cinema that used bright color and beautiful choreography. But this film left me bored. I honestly only watched it because of Jet Li.
Super Reviewer
½ May 3, 2009
Jet Li starred as an ambitious general in this Chinese movie, The warlords, together with Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro,who caught themselves in a very complicated net of brotherhood.The beauty of Jet Li's character was that he was both the hero and the villain, he had a dream to pursuit and pushed his ambition to the end, with this vision Li wanted Paradise, but things never went as planned. Andy Lau,role was a simple one,he was a man of his word and he could not resist the moment that he was forced to witness his promise being broken and leading to the death of 4000 soldiers in a bloodbath. Takeshi Kaneshiro's character was the weakest of the three, but he took revenge in the end with a hateful look on his face as he stabbed Li to his death. Warlords was a great movie by all measures, filled with great performances, marvelous directing and super battle sequences done in a big range.
Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2008
Like all chinese/japanese history stories one minute the hero of the story is a poor, dirt farmer type. The next m inute he is the commander of a vast army of blade swinging ninja types killing millions just with the power of their toes. This film was way too short and failed to explain several aspects of the story (which was true by the way). I felt it was a little rushed and could have been doen so much better over say two and a half hours instead of less than two we had. The action scenes are great but they are far and inbetween to make this a better movie.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2008
The action and battle sequences are great.
But that's about it (apart from the yayahs of the technical side).
Apart from the setting and some superficial aspects this is just the same as your run-of-the-mill mainstream american historical war epics (or should I say SNORE epics).
My big problem with this film is that there is so much occurences in this film that are presented so over-dramatic is just becomes laughable.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2008
With Asia's best actors you do expect more. Of course the action is spectacular and its great to see Jet Li speaking in his native language. But its the same old honor storyline that gets boring after a while
Super Reviewer
December 14, 2007
Nice historical telling. Good battle scenes and the leads do well.
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