This was just a typical action "get back home" kind of adventure film to me. The action was quite lacking (although what was there was violent and gritty), and even though I absolutely love Ziyi Zhang, I really felt that her character didn't really offer anything exciting to the story and could have possibly been left out. I felt like she was in there just as pretty female face...and she can offer more then that.
I'm also sad to say that I own the watered down American release of this (which means it's like 25 minutes shorter), which had I known I never would've bought it. That's typically one of my pet peeves and I wish it would stop. If I buy a film, I want ALL of it.
It almost seems slightly surreal that John Woo, the king of Chinese shoot em' ups, would direct a five hour epic war film, but here it stands. Fortunately, I waited long enough to gain the full five hour edition (rather than the stupid original release of a 150 minute film) and I couldn't be more happier.
This is one of those films that just defines the term "epic film." It has a gigantic cast, incredible landscapes and visuals, and a well-done and thorough story. While I am no expert in Chinese history, after doing some research into who some of these people are, I feel the actors played their parts magnificently (Takeshi Kaneshiro's Zhuge Liang was always a delight to watch).
Unless you have a grand amount of time to pass, I would suggest watching each part separately (unlike me...I tried to watch all of it starting at 9:30 PM). This film is a must-see for anyone who enjoys epic films and/or foreign films.
The Miyazaki film for the younger ages with the relatable characters and charming style visuals. The movie falls flat on story however. When you take it down to the bare bones, Kiki's Delivery Service is about a young witch who moves to the city, gets a job, and makes friends with a boy.
For younger audiences, it offers entertainment value. Older audiences might not be as enthralled.