Make no bones about it, this movie is phenomenal and that is no exaggeration. Introduced to you in a short English narrative, the movie is an epic to rival any other modern war movie. It is typical of most movies of this type, two clashing dynasties, one oppressive the others are humble, modest and outnumbered. However, you cannot consider that a let-down, the story branches out from just another heroic war epic to a gloriously written and filmed masterpiece. The cinematography, as with all John Woo movies is incredible, something he especially excels in in Asian cinema, moreso than Hollywood.
This movie is a war movie like few others, it was not scripted to just excite you with a war-mongering gorefest. It mesmerises with military strategy and the tactical nous you would expect out of a Sun Tzu manual. The story develops to much more than just a battle of two dynasties, it engrosses you and you will enjoy it if you already love the genre.
All you need from the synopsis is written above, but the main characters a military geniuses- unlikely heroes. As the characters are introduced, some in shoddy make-up and costume, the focus will centre around the strategists but noone is left withstanding.
Like I sadi, this movie is phenomenal. I would quite easily rank it up there with Cult Classics such as Full Metal Jacket or Apocalypse Now. THey may very well be of a different era, but war movies do not get much better than this.