Warriors of Heaven and Earth (2003)


Introduction

Warriors of Heaven and Earth (Chinese: 天地英雄) is a 2003 Chinese action adventure film directed by He Ping.

Original title: Tian di ying xiong.

A Chinese emissary is sent to the Gobi desert to execute a renegade soldier. When a caravan transporting a Buddhist monk and a valuable treasure is threatened by thieves, however, the two warriors might unite to protect the travellers.

Outline

The film is set in western China in 700AD during the Tang Dynasty, and revolves around two protagonists, the first of whom is Lieutenant Li of the Chinese army. Li’s refusal to kill Göktürk women and child prisoners is classed as a mutiny, leading him to be expelled from the army and to become a fugitive, travelling through the Gobi Desert. Years later, he is saved by the survivors of a caravan which carries a powerful, mystical relic accompanied by a Buddhist monk. Li protects the caravan from Göktürks as well as the overlord of the region, Master An, who is hired by the Göktürk Khan to seize the relic.

The second protagonist, a Japanese emissary, Lai Xi, is ordered by the emperor of China to kill the fugitive, Li. In a twist of fate, Lai Xi discovers that the caravan is on a mission and helps Li to defend it, to ensure that it arrives at the capital safely. They promise to fight each other only after their duty is done, although that battle never comes to pass.

Cast

  • Jiang Wen as Lieutenant Li.
  • Kiichi Nakai as Emissary Lai Xi.
  • Wang Xueqi as Master An.
  • Zhao Wei as Wen Zhu.
  • Hasi Bagen as Cao Jian, One Eye Eagle.
  • He Tao as Ma Gun.
  • Lau Lei-nin as Wu Lao Er.
  • Wang Deshun as Old Diehard.
  • Li Haibin as Zao Zimo.
  • Yeerjiang Mahepushen as Master An’s servant.
  • Hou Fugao as guard.
  • Zhou Yun as Monk Jue Hui.
  • Lee Wai as Di Hu/Salamander.
  • Do Yuk-ming as rider.
  • Wang Handong as rider.
  • Yang Haiquan as Baldy.
  • Tuerxunjiang Zunong as innkeeper.
  • Wong Hiu as emperor.
  • Sang Baozhong as General Wen.

Trivia

  • The film’s notable cinematography captures a wide range of landscapes across China’s Xinjiang province.
  • It was China’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, though it did not get nominated.
  • Awards and nominations:
    • 11th Beijing Student Film Festival:
      • Won: Best Visual Effect.
      • Won: Favorite Actress (Zhao Wei).
      • Won: Favorite Actor (Jiang Wen).
    • 27th Hundred Flowers Awards:
      • Nominated: Best Film.
      • Nominated: Best Actress (Zhao Wei).
      • Nominated: Best Actor (Jiang Wen).
      • Nominated: Best Actor (Wang Xueqi).
    • 24th Golden Rooster Awards:
      • Nominated: Best Supporting Actor (Wang Xueqi).

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): He Ping.
  • Producer(s): Song Dai, Wang Zhonglei, Chen Kuo-fu, Rita Fung, Hou Shengjun, Zhou Fengying, and Yang Ge.
  • Writer(s): He Ping and Zhang Rui.
  • Music: A.R. Rahman.
  • Cinematography: Zhao Fei, Zheng Hua, and Wang Min.
  • Editor(s): Kong Jinlei.
  • Production: Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, Huayi Brothers Media, Taihe Film Investment Co. Ltd., Xi’an Film Studio, and China Film Co-Production Corporation (in association with).
  • Distributor(s): Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).
  • Release Date: 23 September 2003 (China).
  • Running time: minutes.
  • Country: China.
  • Language: Mandarin.

Video Link

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