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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 24 June 2017
very good
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on 28 January 2017
Another cracking film
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on 13 October 2004
Whether you're a seasoned Asian cinema fan who knows every line of every Kurosawa film in the original Japanese, or someone whose only experience of Asian cinema is 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon', you should make a space for this in your collection.
The story synopsis (two men, one sent to kill the other, put aside their differences to protect a monk carrying a secret artefact) doesn't really do the film justice .. this is a story of courage and honour. And big swords..
The film is superbly produced and acted, and the scenery does a good job of conveying the epicness of the tale (in the end, the soldiers realise they are fighting for more than their own lives).
The film deserves five stars, but only for the original language version. Hopefully, the DVD (not released at time of writing) will have the original version (subtitled) as well as the English dubbed version. Dubbing kills films like this .. the DVD deserves to have at least one star docked (and the DVD producers deserve a slapped wrist!!) if the original version is not present.
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He Ping's Warriors of Heaven and Earth starts off in traditional Eastern epic fashion and with a few similarities to Musa/The Warrior - one of its protagonists is a Japanese noble eager to earn the Emperor of China's permission to return home after 25 years in his service - but it soon develops into something much more satisfying: an all-out Western, and one that's played straight for once. It may be set along China's Silk Road, but the landscape is classic American Western, from pine valleys to buttes that could have come straight out of the smaller corners of Monument Valley. Even the Turks who attack the wagon train - sorry, camel caravan - at Red Rock Gorge do so with Apache war cries.

There are some imaginative action scenes, including a neat swordfight between the two protagonists on opposite sides of a log cabin's walls, and the classic Western friendly enemies archetypes transpose surprisingly well to an Eastern setting. It's a shame that the caravan's cargo has supernatural qualities, because the film really doesn't need the fantasy element, but they special effects are at a bare minimum, as is wirework for once. This made little impression at the box-office, but it's well worth tracking down. Great fun.

There are slight censor cuts totalling 7 seconds in one action sequence, although otherwise the 2.35:1 widescreen transfer is superb, with both original Chinese and dubbed English soundtracks available. The extras aren't plentiful - 25-minute making of, music video and brief trailer - but are adequate enough.
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on 12 September 2006
My brother told me I should watch "Warriors of Heaven and Earth" (2003). Truth to be told, I was somewhat sceptic, as his taste in movies is somewhat different to mine. All the same, I must say that in this case he was right.

This film is quite original, due to the fact that it is set in 7th-century China, but at times seems like a Western. To make it a little stranger, there are some supernatural elements that fit the plot and make this movie something that you are not likely to forget.

One of the main characters is a Japanese warrior (Kiichi Nakai) that has been in the service of the Chinese Emperor for a very long time, and that just wants to fulfill his last task before returning home. Unfortunately for him, that implies finding and killing a Chinese outlaw (Wen Jiang) that used to be a soldier, but that was condemned to death when he refused to kill a group of women and children. The two warriors play a game of cat and mouse, but decide to make a short truce in order to defend a caravan carrying a holy object, that is being attacked by bandits that want to steal it.

There are plenty of well-choreographed fights, but also opportunity to think about themes such as duty and honour. You will also appreciate the beautiful scenery of the Gobi Desert, and the brilliance with which the director (He Ping) was able to tell this story.

From my point of view, this is not a film that will only please those highly interested in Asian cinema. I think that everybody that is fond of an entertaining movie will appreciate "Warriors of Heaven and Earth", even though those who like epic films will certainly like it more. Recommended!

Belen Alcat
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on 7 January 2006
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
This is a great film to have in the library, it has a little bit for everyone and not to much of any one thing to offend even your most prudish maiden aunt.
It has enough romance to let you watch it on the sofa with your arm around your girl friend for a cheap night in, and it has enough war to satisfy your blood thirsty, computer game loving, teenage brother. It has no bad language so you can watch after Sunday lunch with your parents and granny in attendance and not being main stream you can bet that none of them has seen it before unless they are martial arts fanatics in which case they won’t mind seeing it again. Finally for that broke Friday before payday you could just sit in with a couple of beers and enjoy the spectacle.
The desert scenery is fantastic, the colour rainbow bright and the sound, although dubbed, of very high quality. If you already have ‘Crouching Tiger’ and ‘Flying Daggers’ in your cupboard you won’t be disappointed and if you don’t have them, and enjoy this, go and get them.
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VINE VOICEon 2 December 2009
This is a good film, good acting, story plot, action, fighting and characters. Ok, even with the subtitles. But it is incredibly reminiscent of a Korean film I watched recently called 'The Warrior' or 'Musa, The Warrior'. Very similar, with just a few added plot lines to interest you. Overall good, just not great. Worth adding to your collection though!
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on 13 December 2013
Alright I'm biased - I love this film, its one of my all-time favourites.

I have many Martial Arts films, although Sci-Fi is my preferred genre, but this one is special.

The acting is first class, the storyline is excellent and (as another reviewer mentioned) the cinematography is superlative. Some of the scenery is just breath-taking.

The cast is good too, particularly the two main characters although Master An (the main protagonist) provides just the right amount of menace.

The fight and battle scenes are also good and no 'wirework' to speak of. Surprisingly, the inclusion of a modicum of 'supernatural' special effects only enhances the film. There is also the odd bit of humour to relieve the tension so, all in all, a wonderful mix of action and adventure.

I have this as a DVD but have now upgraded to Blu-Ray and even though I could upscale the former the picture and sound quality is now much improved.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
He Ping's Warriors of Heaven and Earth starts off in traditional Eastern epic fashion and with a few similarities to Musa/The Warrior - one of its protagonists is a Japanese noble eager to earn the Emperor of China's permission to return home after 25 years in his service - but it soon develops into something much more satisfying: an all-out Western, and one that's played straight for once. It may be set along China's Silk Road, but the landscape is classic American Western, from pine valleys to buttes that could have come straight out of the smaller corners of Monument Valley. Even the Turks who attack the wagon train - sorry, camel caravan - at Red Rock Gorge do so with Apache war cries.

There are some imaginative action scenes, including a neat swordfight between the two protagonists on opposite sides of a log cabin's walls, and the classic Western friendly enemies archetypes transpose surprisingly well to an Eastern setting. It's a shame that the caravan's cargo has supernatural qualities, because the film really doesn't need the fantasy element, but they special effects are at a bare minimum, as is wirework for once. This made little impression at the box-office, but it's well worth tracking down. Great fun.

Unlike the UK DVD, which has 7 seconds of censor cuts, this Region 1 NTSC disc is uncut. The 2.35:1 widescreen transfer is superb, with both original Chinese and dubbed English soundtracks available. The extras aren't plentiful - 25-minute making of, music video and brief trailer - but are adequate enough.
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on 24 January 2005
This is a fairly traditional film exploring the themes of duty, honour, respect and friendship. What is exceptional is the cinematography. It is beautifully filmed, depicting the wild western province of Giang Xi, with exquisitely choreographed fight sequences and set piece battles. A must for anyone with even a passing interest in asian or epic cinema.
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