This Chinese historical battle epic, a Hong Kong/China production starring Jet Li, Andy Lau, and Takeshi Kenshiro as a trio of “blood brother” bandits battling other warlords during the tumultuous Taiping Rebellion in the Qing Dynasty, had about sixteen minutes cut out of it for its North American release. So we’ll just go ahead and blame the absence of that material for the incomplete feel of co-directors Peter Chan and Wai Man Yip’s blood-soaked drama. Nothing especially wrong with the performances of Li, Lau, and Kaneshiro -- ditto that of Xu Jinglei as the comely courtesan who briefly complicates their already hectic lives. But we can’t help thinking we’ve seen this movie before. Many times. The action sequences attain a high standard of standardness, and that’s a genuine cast of thousands milling around out there. It took eight writers to boil the screenplay (110 min.).
Director: Peter Ho-sun Chan
Writer: Tin Nam Chun and Junli Guo
Producer: Peter Ho-sun Chan, Andre Morgan and Huang Jianxin
Cast: Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Xu Jinglei