Warriors Of Heaven And Earth (2004)


An imperial emissary on a mission to bring a fugitive soldier to justice instead joins forces with him to protect a Buddhist monk and his caravan.

The usual mix of honourable men, swordplay and a beautiful princess is on offer but during the first half of the film, swap the caravan for a wagon train and the swords for six guns and what you have is an old fashioned western. Half way through though things take an unexpectedly supernatural turn as we find out exactly what it is they are protecting. The cinematography, locations and costumes are as attractive as we’ve come to expect in these post Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon times, but the narrative leaves more than a little to be desired; characterisation is minimal so it is very difficult to care when one of the characters is killed off and the plot consists of little more than an episodic series of strangely sterile and bloodless battle sequences. It is very attractive to look at however and certainly does not bore; the siege sequence is particularly impressive and reminded me of Kingdom Of Heaven on a budget.

On the whole it’s reasonably entertaining but the weaknesses in the script mean it’s not in the same league as the extremely similar Musa.



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