The Water Margin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Water Margin Reviews

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March 17, 2016
this is one of the great films ever made. if you are wondering why I say this you cant understand it yet. read a book, shithead.
March 30, 2015
Ambitious ensemble piece finds many bandit heroes seeking revenge when a corrupt government kills their beloved leader. The movie has an epic scope, but it gets muddled in the middle, with the same character being re-captured repeatedly. The film's highlight is a 5 on 5 battle at the end, which overshadows the final duel. The Water Margin shafts character development, but the movie is decent enough for martial arts fans.
November 25, 2012
A big martial arts picture that is perhaps too big for its own good.

The script, based on a book by the same name, exclusively adapts chapters 64-68, with little exposition, and introduces characters for nearly the entire 120 minutes of its runtime. The Shaw Brothers literally unloaded their dormitory with a cast of thousands; however, aside from a couple of key players most of the actors -- even veterans of note -- find themselves downsized to glorified cameos.

Nevertheless, for a film based solely on a handful of occurances in the mist of an epic novel, with three different directors and four different action choreographers "The Water Margin" remains an otherwise even-keeled viewing experience that's paced by a catchy electric score.

Future auteurs John Woo and Godfrey Ho serve as assistant directors; Liu Chia Liang (Lau Kar-leung) contributes as one of four aforementioned action choreographers.

The follow-up "All Men are Brothers" reunites much of the cast and crew from the predecessor.
September 17, 2012
All-star cast in swordplay epic based on Chinese classic!
½ November 15, 2009
might be my favorite of the shaw brothers' movies. david chiang is awesome in it.
½ September 1, 2009
Mouais.....cette adaptation (de quelques chapitres) d'un roman fleuve, classique de la litérature chinoise est un film pas terrible du tout.

La faute au scenario, donné vie a la bande de brigands du mont Liang (il y a en tout 36 personnages principaux hein!!!) en 2 heures c'est bien trop limité. De plus le roman n'est pas facile a adapté, tres répetitif des personnages qui aparaissent a gauche a droite..... bref le matériau de base est deja dificile a manipulé.

Si en plus les acterus se mettent d'accord pour être mauvais, et que la musique est une repompe d'un western ("pendez-les haut et cours" avec Clint Eastwood) bha... on tombe devant ce blockbuster d'époque, avec beaucoup de stars (qui aparaissent 3 secondes a l'écran) mais rien d'autre

Maitre Chang a fait bien mieux..... Dommage j'etais motivé par ce film, qui m'a quand meme donné envie de lire le livre.

Ps: l'histoire du livre est elle meme (une vertion romancée d') une histoire vraie.. celles des 108 voleurs du mont Liang sous la dynastie des Song.
½ April 5, 2009
Watched this off of a "Four Swords" collection of Shaw Brothers movies I picked up, and I really liked it. Never would have thought I'd have a movie connected to one of my favorite games, Suikoden, but here it is. They both are based on the same Chinese myth, though the movie much more directly as the opening titles will tell you. This was more epic than I was expecting with a huge cast, though given the story connections that isn't a surprise. Some of the panning camera shots really bothered me, but I have to keep in mind certain tools may not have been invented yet. Ti Lung's role was small until the end, though as always, David Chiang shines above all others.
½ February 12, 2009
From the immense treasure chest that is Chinese literature comes the story about the Liang Shan gang, courtesy of camp filmmaker Chang Cheh who churned out at least a handful of these epics a year for the legendary Shaw Brothers. The most amazing thing is that these characters are so well-known in China that they need no proper introduction, which can, and does, confuse the hell out of Western viewers. Anyway, pretty good stuff this, and a great introduction to the masculine cinematic world of Chang Cheh.
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