Warlords (Tau ming chong)

2010

Warlords (Tau ming chong)

Critics Consensus

Slightly stodgy historical Chinese epic with impressive battles.

63%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 56

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 50,221

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Movie Info

Love, politics, and loyalty threaten to tear apart three soldiers in this lavish historical epic from Hong Kong. In 1870, the power of the corrupt Qing Dynasty has been threatened by the rise of a revolutionary army, led by religious fanatics, and civil war is tearing the nation apart. Pang Qingyun (Jet Li), a good man who finds himself fighting for the Qing leadership, is one of the only survivors of a bloody battle in between revolutionaries and Qing troops, and is looking for someplace to go when he's offered shelter by a beautiful peasant woman, Lian (Xu Jinglei). Pang and Lian spend the night in each others arms, and he finds himself falling in love with her. Pang sets out to make his way home when he's befriended by Zhao Erhu (Andy Lau) and Jiang Wuyang (Takeshi Kaneshiro), a pair of bandits. When Jiang is attacked in an ambush, Pang helps save his life, and the three men become blood brothers in a gory ritual. Pang convinces Jiang and Zhao to join him in the fight against the revolutionaries, and with their help Pang is able to achieve some impressive victories. However, when Pang allows his own ego and dreams of glory to override his common sense and loyalty, Zhao and Jiang come to distrust their ally, and matters become worse when it is revealed that Lian is Zhao's wife. Tou Ming Zhuang (aka The Warlords) was a major box-office success in China and Eastern Asia before making its way to theaters in Europe and the United States.

Cast

Jet Li
as General Pang Qingyun
Andy Lau
as Zhao Er-Hu
Takeshi Kaneshiro
as Jiang Wu-Yang
Jacky Heung
as Shi Jin Biao

News & Interviews for Warlords (Tau ming chong)

Critic Reviews for Warlords (Tau ming chong)

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (21)

  • I think it is worth seeing but not one that must be seen.

    January 13, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • Doesn't break ground; in fact, it carries on a tradition. But it does so with both flair and passion.

    July 1, 2010 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • A tale of noble brotherhood compromised by self-interest and a messy love triangle, The Warlords, ultimately, tries to speak to the futility of war - but it does so by staging one gargantuan dustup after another.

    April 15, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • In The Warlords, war is heaven. In fact, it makes everything else seem tedious by comparison.

    April 9, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The Warlords gets a release in the United States nearly 2 1/2 years after its Hong Kong premiere, and it's a wonder it took so long.

    April 8, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • How do you make a censor-friendly Chinese movie about government massacres? You turn it into a soap opera.

    April 8, 2010 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for Warlords (Tau ming chong)

  • Jul 25, 2011
    Not a bad movie, it was just an incredibly inconsistent one. It's also a movie that tries to be more epic than it really is and it just doesn't work. The action, the costume and the set design are the best parts of the movie. The rest of the movie just never finds its own identity, it tries to be a lot of things at once. The acting, while not the selling point of the movie, again, is inconsistent. Again I can't stress that the worst part of the movie is how it never finds a consistent tone where it really matters. Cause the costumes, the action, and the set design may be great, but you need a good story to bring all these elements together and the movie just doesn't do that at all. Unfortunately, this movie probably doesn't do any justice to the real story.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 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.
    Al S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 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.
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 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. <p>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.
    Lanning : Super Reviewer

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