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The Storm Warriors (2009)

Lord Godless (Simon Yam), an evil Japanese Warlord who is close to conquering China, but the only thing stopping him is the reunion of Wind (Ekin Cheng) and Cloud (Aaron Kwok). With their powers combined they still isn’t enough to defeat the deadly Warlord. Seeking guidance from Lord Wicked, a master of a deadly dark martial arts form, but he is only willing to teach it those that can handle their power as this evil art could consume its host turning him to a killing machine!

Wind is chosen to learn the dark arts where as Cloud is taught martial arts from his original master, Nameless, who has a theory that if Wind and Cloud combine their power, they can put Lord Godless’s reign to an end.

After ten years a true sequel to the original Stormriders movie has came out, I’m a giant fan of the first movie and man, you know I was the happiest bunny when we got our first glimpse at the trailer. The story doesn’t follow on from the original, it could certainly be taking place ten years from the original…

One of my leading doubts with the movie was knowing that the Pang Brothers were handling this movie. I don’t hate their work, I did enjoy pieces like Diary and Ab-Normal Beauty, but movies such as Forest of Death and ReCycle have been pretty dire! Well ReCycle certainly! I have to admit I really enjoyed the flick,  but come on, I loved these movies and these actors.

As you can expect I’ll be discussing the key differences in our actors from 1998 to 2009. Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok have grown considerably. In 1998 Kwok  was known famously for his role in the Shaw Brothers Kung Fu flick – The Bare Foot Kid. Whereas Ekin Cheng was noticed by his peers for his role as Chan Ho-Nam in the triad series Young & Dangerous. Fast forward to 2009 Aaron Kwok has achieved three Best Actor awards for his work in Divergence and After this Our Exile. Ekin Cheng most recently recieved alot of praise for his terrific role in Kelvin Tong’s Rule Number One, a role which earned him his first best actor award at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival.

Outside of our heroes, the villains portrayed by Simon Yam and Nicholas Tse. Nicholas Tse almost steals the thunder as the strong, silent sidekick who deals plenty of devastating blows to anyone who got in front of him! Simons role as the Warlord pretty intense as well he is participially really good in one scene against Aaron Kwok where the insane crazy razor wire spider-web scene.

For our female leads we are given two strong performances from both Charlene Choi and Yan Tang claim the role of Shu Qi from Stormriders. As you can expect a relationship blossoms between Ekin Cheng and Charlene Choi! A surprise twist I tell ya!

Storm Warriors rightfully so won the Winner of the Best Visual Effects Award at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards. This visual effects in this movie are epic, if you could give this movie only one credit. The great sets were all constructed on three locations in Thailand, the mixture of these sets with visial effects give great legitamt feel to them, it looks as if our leading characters walking across cover of a Terry Pratchett novel. The computer effects are amazing, the battle sequences with the thousand swords and all the elemental effects are stunning, visually stunning!

The movie has been described as 300 meets Jet Li’s Hero and the comparisons between 300 and Storm Warriors is pretty obvious, but I believe it doesn’t damage the movie. If your really picky you can even tell of the connections between this movie and The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie and this is probably one of the few positive reviews you will see for this movie. So please, rent it!

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The Podcast On Fire Network aims to provide a large, continually expanding overview of Asian cinema. On the flagshow Podcast On Fire, the big guns out of Hong Kong cinema gets a spotlight through discussion and review while the remainder of the network shows gives you insight into Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese cinema and the history of adult oriented Hong Kong cinema!

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