I wish I had more time to watch more Asian
cinema because I know for a fact that I've missed some brilliant films,
especially several of the great titles that has come from the Eastern
Eye collection from Madman. Funny enough I was given that chance and
Three Kingdoms - Resurrection of the Dragon was one movie that I was
forced to watch. But would the old saying of be careful what you wish
for come to haunt me? Thankfully not.
Three Kingdoms - Resurrection of the
Dragon, directed by Daniel Lee was a surprisingly enjoyable film of
intrigue, politics and some thoroughly impressive battle sequences that
looked visually awe-inspiring on Blu-ray. Paying homage to the classic
Chinese story, Romance of Three Kingdoms, the main protagonist is
Zhao (Andy Lau), a man who chooses to fight for his country, rather than
be suppressed by the nefarious warlords who have decimated his world
through a violent civil war.
Even though the story may sound clichéd,
the journey for Zhao is also one of discovery and relationships as under
the tutelage of General Liu Bei (Yeuh Hau), he soon begins to rise
through the ranks of his army to become an almost unbeatable force.
Especially with his deadly assortment of weapons that helps him become
one of the 5 Tiger Generals. Of course, every hero needs a sidekick or
equal and the man to play this role is Sammo Hung, a real-life martial
arts expert that at times acts like Zhao's guardian and advisor.
One relationship that should be mentioned
is between Zhao and Cao Ying (Maggie Q), another unbeatable warrior who
happens to female that is a stark contrast in this male orientated film
and provides a good link in grounding our hero. Of course, it's a joy to
watch Maggie Q in her action scenes, thanks to the martial arts
choreographer and to raise the bar even more, the fights on horseback
left me scratching my head, realism or special effects?
Of course, not all is perfect in this movie
and at times, it feels like the director has attempted to cram too much
content into the film and sometimes the viewer needs a break but Lee
continues to push on like a wild stampede. As the movie spans over
30-years, for this Western reviewer, keeping up is a little challenging
at times but then Lee uses something, like the stunning cinematography
or another bloody action scene and once again, you are drawn into the
On Blu-ray, the video quality is quite
impressive for a non-Hollywood film that boasts deep levels of black,
sharp images and a vibrant colour palette. However, the highlight of
film for me, technically, is the awesome DTS 5.1 mix which sounds
phenomenal when the battles begin and at times, sounds like what you
image a real army on horseback would sound like. Very cool indeed.
- Interviews with Cast
- The Making of Three Kingdoms