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Genre: Action/Drama/War
Starring: Andy Lau, Ahn Sung-ki, Wang Zhiwen, Fan Bingbing, Wu Chi-lung, Choi Si-won
Director: Jacob Cheung
Rating: PG (Some Battle Scenes)
Year Made: 2006



- Teaser Trailer
- The Making Of



Languages: Chinese & Cantonese
Subtitles: Chinese & English
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 2 hrs
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Scorpio East




A Battle of Wits is based on a popular Manga series, BOKKO (Mak Gong) about China's harrowing warlord period. An epic film with lavish scenery and great action.

In 370 B.C., China was separated as seven nations and several other small tribes, one of these being city of Liang with. The nation of Zhao is led by the terrifying prime commander Xiang Yangzhong who orders his troops to launch an attack on Liang in a bid to conquer the small city.

Leaping to the defence of the cowed people of Liang is a warrior who goes by the name of Ge Li from the Mo-Tsu tribe (Mozi family/school of Mozi) renowned for it's defensive skills. He is their last hope as the terrors of Yangzhong's troops are unleashed. The future of Liang now hangs in the balance, with all their hopes pinned on the mysterious Mo-Tsu warrior Ge Li...


It has been a while since we last saw a production of such epic proportions coming out of the HK film industry. With a relatively high budget contributed from film investors in China, HK and Korea, “A Battle of Wits” fortunately has lots to show unlike other pretentious productions.

Directed by Jacob Cheung (“Cage Man”) and starring Andy Lau, “A Battle of Wits” is about a Mohist warrior being called to save the city of Liang. Based on a popular manga series, the story mixes fiction with reality and a handful of historical facts thrown in. However, there’s no rush for you to pick up the series from the bookstore. Cheung who also wrote the screenplay handles the pacing and character development equally with ease. The action sets choreographed by Tung Wai lacked the flashy elements but the level of realism and witty war tactics greatly make up for it.

While the use of CG has populated the war genre especially after Peter Jackson implemented his CG armies in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Cheung knew his weaknesses and constraint of his budget on hand and chooses to minimize it and in place ironically a magnificent display of real actors standing in with full armour and well-equipped with bows and arrows.

Besides the impressive logistics, popular actor/singer Andy Lau has put in a tremendous mature performance as the peculiar Ge Li. Other recommended performances include Wang Zhiwen as the unappreciative King and Nicky Wu (the former singer from the “Little Tiger” trio) and veteran Korean actor Choi Si-won.

You might not be aware of the numerous hidden messages in “A Battle of Wits” after it has clocked in over 120 minutes, you got to admit the battle has been fought, apparently the cast and crew of “A Battle of Wits” has won over our hearts.


The 20 minutes making of feature covers behind the scenes, interviews with cast and crew and also promotional events. There's also a short tour of the City of Liang movie set. Included as well are teaser trailer for A Battle of Wits, One Last Dance and Protégé.


There's a yellowish feel to the whole visual presented. Perhaps it's due to the desert setting. The cinematography must be commended for capturing the grandeur of the movie and the vast sets that were built in China. Audio is presented in both Cantonese and Mandarin. The disc also boasts a wonderful Dolby Digital 5.1 track which of course helps in channelling the numerous war sequences to your theater room.



Review by Linus Tee



Alternative Opinion:

The movie review by our columnist,

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This review is made possible with the kind support from Scorpio East

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