Originally titled “Battle of Wits”, this Dragon Dynasty release has been renamed and is just a good flick, plain and simple. It may not be as flashy as Hero or get as much attention as Crouching Tiger, but Battle has a clear story, characters and touches on some philosophy as well. This takes place in the “warring states period” of Chinese history, actually predating the 3 kingdoms epics that most viewers are familiar with. Because of this, the armor and costumes may seem odd, which is just more flavor on the movie.
Two powerful states are at war and as the Zhao army make their way across the land towards their enemies, they stop to resupply at one of the smaller city/kingdoms by laying siege to it and taking what they want. Andy Lau plays an outsider who has been trained as philosopher and a master tactician, who comes to the aid of the city to help defend it. There are many other story lines and complications along the way of course, but that’s the nutshell. What’s dope about the movie is watching how he defends the city. Kingdom of Heaven ain’t got nothing on this piece! All of the photography is great and the drama is on par with the action.
Dragon Dynasty gives us another Bey Logan commentary and a making-of featurette, but they’re sleeping on this one. So check it out if you like period piece Chinese epics and siege movies like the Two Towers.