A film about the heart, and Hiroyuki Sanada's best role, in my opinion. He's the red-clad general, Guangming, who is caught up in a love triangle with the protagonist Kunlun (Jang Don Gun), and the suffering princess Qingcheng (Cecilia Cheung). Like other characters in the film, Sanada has been visited by the goddess Manshen (Chen Hong), who gives out the price of her favours. The villain is Duke Wuhan (Nicholas Tse), a despotic warlord threatening to overthrow the king. The stage is set for a dramatic, coherent story as characters struggle to save each other - a theme played upon in many Chinese films - embodied by Kunlun's unforgettable line: 'I want you to live'. And, just what is 'The promise'?
Everything in this film is as polished as Chinese lacquer. The music and visuals will appeal to people who love classical history or Koei's 'Dynasty Warriors' and 'Kessen' game styles. Even the less fantasy-afflicted can pick up on the film's sheer romance and lush photography.