One of the two or three best martial arts movies ever
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Moon Warriors is a period piece set on the coast of China sometime during the Ming Dynasty. A kind-hearted fisherman, content with his simple village life, is reluctantly drawn into helping a noble emperor regain his throne from his evil brother. This movie has a very serious tone, and is filled with fantastic cinematography of primeval, mist filled forests, seaside fishing villages and ancient underground tombs. Although there are a few cheesy moments of people flying on wires, there is a ton of unbelievable straight, non-wire martial arts and swordplay. The fight scene where the hero defends his fishing village from the evil troops has to be one of, if not THE most amazing martial arts scene ever filmed. This movie also stars two of Hong Kong's most beautiful, talented actresses in Maggie Cheung and Anita Mui. If you're wondering what all the fuss is about Hong Kong cinema, this movie is a fine example, with it's noble heroes, evil villains, tragically doomed romance and incredible action scenes. Rumour has it that this was one of the Hong Kong films that significantly influenced George Lucas's new Star Wars prequels."
Not bad, but not great.
Dragon Man X | Sunnyvale, CA USA | 07/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In my opinion, to say that this is one of the best martial arts movie of all time is an overstatement, but to say its one of the worst is hardly believable. The film was magnificently directed by Sammo Hung, an awesom martial artist himself with impeccable directing skills. He managed to make Andy Lau, Anita Mui (R.I.P.), and Maggie Cheung look like they actually know how to handle a sword. Now that's an accomplishment considering they're not all that great at martial arts,and there are several stunt doubles doing the more complicated moves. The story lies around an emperor who is running from his evil brother that is trying to kill him and permanently hold the throne. A village fisherman played by Andy Lau lends the emperor a hand and they become good friends. The emperor is on his way to retreive his supposed-to-be wife played by Anita Mui before she is killed by the brother. A complicated love story involving Andy, the emperor, Anita, and the emperor's bodyguard played by Maggie Cheung takes place. Interesting story indeed, but I have seen better films. The fights in this film are fast and well choreographed, and although there are some wirework present, its not too ridiculous. I enjoyed every fight in this film except the last one in the tomb...watch,its ridiculous. The film itself is pretty violent, but the fighters look so charismatic you sort of get distracted away from the blood. So the story is good as is the fighting and acting, so why only 3 stars? Well, I'd give the movie 4, but the DVD's sound is horrendous. The DTS track is a joke with sounds that just blast out of nowhere and it gets rather annoying. I dropped another star because the makers of the film really wanted the viewers to care about the characters, but during the whole film I didn't care very much at all. With all the mushy conversations, and there are many, it just wasn't enough to really praise this film. Plus I, along with several viewers, thought the inclusion of the killer whale was unnecessary. The scenes with the whale sort of ruined the film. To say that this film is better or close to the quality of Crouching Tiger is really going out on a limb. Crouching Tiger had wonderful cinematography, awesome action, a very good love story, and the characters were interesting. For an all round swordplay movie, Crouching was great, not the best, but great. Moon Warriors is ok, but not something to be praised so highly, and whoever did the sound on this DVD needs a new career. If you want the best version, pick up Moon Warriors from the Hong Kong Legends(HKL) distributors, but you'll need a regionless DVD player to play their region 2 DVDs. They're best for remastering video and audio elements of martial arts films. If you want to check out more swordplay films which I feel are better, then watch Crouching Tiger, Swordsman II (with jet li), Kill Bill (more action than story), and The Hunted (with Christopher Lambert). I know, you must be saying Christopher Lambert from Highlander????!! Take my word folks, this is his best film and the swordplay is awesome. Thanks for reading and check my other reviews for more martial arts recommendations."
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fine Swordplay movie directed by Sammo Hung. I enjoyed the movie because of its mix of action, romance and exotic locations and costumes. The fight sequences are fast moving and fun to watch. I especially enjoyed seeing Maggie Cheung in action. The romance in the movie is equally strong and adds an emotional element to the action sequences that is often missing from other movies. If you don't generally like action movies because all there is is fighting, you might like this movie. I listened to the Mandarin soundtrack, but spot checks on the Cantonese soundtrack showed that it might be marginally cleaner. The subtitles are white and part of the picture, so they can't be turned off. However they are very clear and I didn't notice any "polar bear in a snow storm" effects with the subtitles becoming unreadable. This is a movie I would recommend to action fans and superhero fans alike."
Average film, nothing spectacular
Richard | Southern California | 05/31/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film is not good as these reviews before claim it is. I was hoping for more quality in the fights. I was overall disappointed by it. It had a few cool moments, like when the bad guy did all those crazy things with that one guy's head, otherwise, watch Iron Monkey."
Superbly entertaining! Action, laughs and plot!
Richard | 12/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great fun and super action. The story is a good traditional martial arts plot, but it unfolds in a colorful and fresh manner thanks to great sets and TRULY UNIQUE and LOVABLE charatcters. The fights are great, Sammo's direction is forceful and zany, Maggie Chung is wonderful and the climax boasts one of my all time favorite brilliantly silly movie moments."