Friday, January 06, 2006

Moon Warriors, a review

Cheyenne is always picking up interesting movies and sometimes he lends them out. When he was in recently he left a movie called Moon Warriors. B wanted to see the movie for the "kung fu whale" and I wanted to see it because of Andy Lau. There is just something about Andy Lau that pleases me. It doesn't matter if he is a good guy or a bad guy, but, he is cool. Plus, it was directed by Sammo Hung which EVERYONE knows as the brother of Jackie Chan and a martial arts master in his own right, not to mention writer and director.

In this movie Andy plays a villager, a fisherman trying to help a struggling heir to a throne regain said throne. It is one of those movies you actually get to see Andy's martial arts abilities in Wu Shu and acrobatics.

At one point Andy, or Fei, is sent to get the betrothed princess of the hiding emperor-to-be in order to unite forces so the current emperor, the younger brother of the emperor-to-be, can be deposed and the correct emperor enthroned. There is a huge fight, of course, because intrigue is afoot and the princess, who is quite spoiled as most princesses are, slowly becomes interested in Fei who loves her as well.

Once the princess is safe with her emperor-to-be Fei decides he cannot help the emperor-to-be any longer from a close distance because he simply does not want to see his own love marry the man who may one day rule the country. No one wants to see the woman they love marry another!

Meanwhile, the emperor-to-be has a woman body guard who is in love with him and he is secretly in love with as well. The body guard also has a secret (more intrigue approaches!) - she is working for the evil emperor and has sworn to kill the emperor-to-be, but her heart can't do it, so she kills everyone else...except the princess and Fei who has a wonderful moment talking things over away from the hiding place of the emperor-to-be. There is a wonderful fight between the two ladies which the emperor-to-be breaks up and when each woman accuses the other, he forbids either of them from speaking ill of the other. Although they don't like this very much, the women agree and go to their separate places in the hide out and mull things over.

The body guard thinks about what she should do. Should she be a turn coat on the evil emperor and fight beside the man she loves who would be a better emperor for the people by far, or should she carry out her mission and attempt to kill the emperor-to-be, her beloved?

The princess looks at her beautiful wedding clothes and thinks of Fei, but she is a princess and cannot turn her back on her royal duty so she spends her time mourning for the love and life that she could have had.

Enter evil emperor. He has found the hide out and is going to end the battle for the throne and and for all. The bodyguard decides she cannot go against her heart any longer and fights beside the emperor-to-be and princess and Fei. Yay bodyguard!

The evil emperor is not a bad fighter and he uses all of his evil powers to over-come his brother and the women and Fei. He kills the bodyguard who dies in the emperor-to-be's arms just before the emperor-to-be is attacked and seriously wounded. We don't know if he makes it or not.

The princess comes to help the emperor-to-be and is mortally wounded. As she falls, Fei catches her and cradles her lovingly in his arms after blinding the evil emperor. They have one of those quiet moments that you know are special and not to be disturbed. The princess is dying and Fei is holding her, spending a lifetime in one moment. It is the princess' dying that made me adore this movie.

The evil emperor, using his super martial arts abilities, finds his weapon and begins to rush head long at the dying princess and Fei. The princess' eyes close in death, and Fei is not going to disrupt her final peace on this earth by fighting. By the time the princess is gone, the evil emperor is too close and cuts Fei's sword in two and impales him against a stone pillar which cracks and falls off to crush the evil emperor and kill him. And why does the pillar crack and fall onto the evil emperor? Because of the entrance of Fei's beloved pet killer whale who leaps out of the water and hits the bad guy with his mighty tail! Yep, that will do it every time.

Fei is impaled against the stone pillar, magnificent in his heroicism. The princess is crumpled at his side in a sitting position with her head resting against his leg and his hand caressing her hair.

Fei says, "I thought I was finally dead, but I woke up far out to sea because my faith Wai Mei had come for me." Then the movie fades to him walking across a field covered in flowers by a statue of a woman that is supposed to be the princess I think. And he narrates along the lines of: "I stayed away from my land for three years and I came to discover that sometimes the stories and songs are true, especially the tragic ones." And the movie ends.

It was the most depressing ending movies I have seen in many a day! Still, as far as wonderful movies and stories to watch unfold it is a magnificent one. I just wish it wasn't so depressing in the end.

Should you watch this movie?


Just be prepared for the ending.

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