Peter Chan – Tau ming chong aka The Warlords (2007)

The film is set in the 1860s, during the Taiping Rebellion in the late Qing Dynasty in China. The story, based on an unresolved crime in 1870, tells of three sworn brothers (played by Andy Lau, Jet Li and Takeshi Kaneshiro) who are forced to turn against one another due to the harsh realities of war and political intrigue.

The beginning of the flim show defeated army officer Qing Yun wandering aimlessly until he met Mi Lan who comforted him. Next scene show Wu Yang coming back from a successful loot. Wu Yang, notice the military boot Qing Yun was wearing and engaged him in a fight. Qing Yun overpowered him causing Wu Yang to admire his fighting skills and promise to introduce him to his elder brother, Er Hu who is the mastermind behind attack on soldier’s supply. After an attack on Er Hu’s village by the military, Qing Yun convinced the gang to join the army and help Qing government fight. It was during these expeditions that cause the tension to raise between the brothers as their opinion and values begin to clash. Minor plot of a love triangle between Andy Lau & Jet Li over a beautiful woman (Xu Jinglei).

The film was originally titled The Blood Brothers (simplified Chinese: 刺马; traditional Chinese: 刺馬). Director Peter Chan said it was influenced by the late Chang Cheh’s 1973 film The Blood Brothers, which is itself based on a famous high profile assassination of a local governor in 1870, but denied that it is a remake. He also decided to change the title to The Warlords in order to avoid confusion.

When asked why he chose to move away from his familiar turf of romance films, Chan said that The Warlords is actually not a martial arts film at its heart, though it contains elements of the martial arts. He added that he had made a wish to make a film depicting men’s affections after watching John Woo’s 1986 film A Better Tomorrow over twenty years ago, and has now finally gotten the chance. His goal is thus to “lead [his] audience to reclaim [the same kind of passion]” as in A Better Tomorrow, which he said is lacking in recent films.

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Language(s):Mandarin
Subtitles:English, Chinese (Mandarin)

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