Posted on Monday, December 28th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
The Warlords is a two-year old Chinese mini-epic starring Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro in a tale based on The Assassination of Ma, a story from China’s mid-1800s civil war period. The film cleaned up at the 2008 Hong Kong Film Awards and is finally hitting the states courtesy of Magnet’s Six-Shooter Film Series. Trailers have been around for some time, but Magnet has dropped a new one for their release, and you can check it out after the break.
Magnet has loaded this second Six-Shooter series with a variety of Asian action (Ong Bak 2 and John Woo’s Red Cliff were also part of the lineup) and The Warlords (also being called just Warlords in some corners) looks like a good complement to those selections. I like the grit, and I love the cast — Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro in particular. Serious fans have probably already imported this one several times over, but for the rest of us it could be a good distraction early in 2010. If you need further distraction after this hits, check out the 1973 Shaw Brothers movie based on the same historic tale — you can find it under the titles Dynasty of Blood and Blood Brothers.
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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 brutal massacre of his fellow soldiers by playing dead, and joins a band of bandits led by Er Hu (Andy Lau) and Wu Yang (Takeshi Kaneshiro). After fighting back attackers from an helpless village, the three men take an oath to become “blood brothers,” pledging loyalty to one another until death, 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 (Wu Jing-Lei).