Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
|Featuring:||Jet Li (General Pang Qingyun), Andy Lau (Zhao Er-Hu), more »|
|Director:||Peter Chan, Wai Man Yip|
|Producer:||Applause Pictures, Beijing Jinyinma Movie & TV Culture Co., Beijing Poly-bona Film Publishing Company, Chengtian Entertainment, China Film Group, more »|
First of all, I just want to state that from a technical aspect this movie was phenomenal. The acting was well done, the cinematography was incredible. I was especially impressed with Jet Li’s portrayal of General Pang Qingyun. Li brought a whole new perspective to Pang. I was, also, impressed with the fine acting accomplished through his co-stars, Andy Lau (Er-Hu) and Takeshi Kaneshiro (Wu-Yang). The story was complex, yet entertaining.
Though this movie was great from a technical aspect, this is not a movie I can recommend to Christians.
Violence: This movie is rated R for “sequences of strong violence,” and rightfully so. This movie contained various scenes of soldiers being stabbed with spears, human blood splattering everywhere, decapitated body parts (which are also covered in blood), beheadings, a couple scenes where we see starving, injured villagers, and also scenes of pillaging and chaos. One of the Brothers is whipped. There are scenes of people being shot by guns and arrows. There are, also, a couple knife battles. Lastly, there is a scene where a soldier holds up a decapitated head in the air at the end of a batlle.
Sexuality: The sexuality was mild. There are a couple scenes where General Pang is seen in bed with a woman (Lin), and there is also reference to two women supposedly being raped.
Profanity: Suprisingly, the language was kept at a minimum. There is one instance of d***.
As I sat through this movie, I questioned whether there was a moral to this story or whether I could draw any lessons from a Christian standpoint. There’s an old saying that “power can corrupt good people.” This is true of General Pang. At first, his conquests, along with his Brothers', were for freeing his people from the bullying of the Taiping people. However, as the movie progresses, we see that his motives change, even to the point of betrayal. As Christians, when God has given us authority, we must not abuse it as General Pang did. We must also show mercy and forgiveness to those who are under our authority.
In short, I cannot recommend this movie to any Christian. My advice is to heed the R-rating and stay away from this one. While the technical aspects (such as the lighting, the cameras, the acting) were phenomenal, it does not make up for the multiple occurrences of brutal, graphic violence throughout this film.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.