Evil warlord Lord Godless (Simon Yam) led his son Heart (Nicholas
Tse) to conquer China. He imprisoned The Emperor (Patrick Tam)
and a large number of martial artists and tried to make them
subjugate. Among the prisoners were Cloud (Aaron Kwok) and the
marital arts elder statesman Nameless (Kenny Ho). Wind (Ekin
Cheng) came to the rescue…
Wind and Cloud followed the lead of Piggy King (Lam Suet), bringing
along Chu Chu (Tang Yan), escaped to
Sheng Si Men. Later on, trained by Nameless and Lord Wicked
(Kenny Wong) respectively, Cloud and Wind
quickly boosted up their martial arts skills, though Wind chose
to take the evil way. During his training, he met the
girl who changed his life, Second Dream (Charlene Choi). Meanwhile,
the troop of Lord Godless came to attack.
Wind’s training was interrupted when he tried to save
Dream from Lord Godless’s assault.
The real intention of Lord Godless’s invasion was related
to an ancient tomb, The Heaven Cave, which was
buried with the Royal family’s secret of the sovereign.
China and the martial art world were at stake. Inside the
Heaven Cave, an ultimate battle between Cloud, Wind and Lord
Godless was about to begin…
"The Storm Warriors" is judged primarily on its
arts and visual, then I guessed the Pang brothers will win
In this ridiculously panned sequel to the 1998 mega hit, "The
Storm Riders", an evil warlord Lord Godless (Simon Yam)
and his son Heart (Nicholas Tse) has imprisoned a number of
martial arts experts including the formidable Nameless (Kenny
Ho) and the Emperor of China played by Patrick Tam. Their
main motive is not simply taking control over the country
but to lay their hands on the Royal family’s secret,
the Dragon Bone.
And who else to stop the evildoers other than our two protagonists,
Wind (Ekin Cheng) and Cloud (Aaron Kwok). Unfortunately, Wind
and Cloud is no match for Godless. Thus at the advice of Piggy
King (Lam Suet), they seek out a reclusive martial-arts expert,
Lord Wicked (Kenny Wong) who offers a somewhat absurd solution,
Wind must turned himself to the evil side so as to defeat
Lord Godless while Nameless will act as mentor to Cloud only
then, Wind and Cloud can fully defeat the evildoers provided
Wind can return from the evil side.
Thus with such a filmsy storyline, the audience is dragged
by the Pang brothers through this pile of befuddled mess which
runs close to an amazing two hours. To add insult to injury,
the characters are given a slew of uninspiring dialogue to
spout with barely much expression to go with it. Secondly,
striking a cool stance while looking aloof and staring into
empty space can be enchanting for the first five minutes but
doing it repeatedly qualifies nothing more than overkill.
For the love interests, the character of Chu Chu (played by
Shu Qi in the original) is replaced by Tang Yan who despite
her best effort lacks the innocence and bubbliness of Shu
Qi while Charlene Choi fares better as Wind’s sister
rather than love interest with her Second Dream character.
The cast which consists of other newcomers such as Simon Yam
and Nicholas Tse lacks a strong presence to anchor the movie.
Unlike Sonny Chiba, Yam and Tse fails miserably as the bad
guys given their half a page dialogue and diminutive characterization
while Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok are destined to become plain
'catwalk models' of the series if their characters are not
There is apparently no continuity to the original except the
presence of Wind and Cloud as the Pang brothers already state
it’s a stand-alone story arc. But by doing so, it only
weakens the characters and plotting on the whole. Most fans
would want to know what actually happened to the martial-arts
world after the death of Lord Conquer (Sonny Chiba)? And who
exactly is Lord Godless? What good does the Dragon Bone does?
The screenplay makes no attempt to address these issues and
it just an immature presentation of whose evil and who are
the good guys.
With the exception of their breakthrough horror thriller,
"The Eye", the Pang Brothers are not really known
for their storytelling abilities perhaps more for their visual
flair, unfortunately "The Storm Warriors" cement
that belief once again. The sole salvaging factor in this
production is none other than the visual effects by HK effects
house, Fat Face Production Ltd who also did the Pang brothers’
"Recycle" and Peter Ho’s "The Warlords".
Adopting a "300" visual style, the movie which is
shot primarily inside soundstages with lots of blue/green
screen adds a sense of realism that is closer to Ma Wing-Shing’s
original graphic works. The digital backdrops which are added
during post-production are spectacular to look at thus while
the story gets a bit dry and boring, there’s always
something interesting lurking in the background.
We waited almost 12 years for the sequel to arrive and here
it is, a perfect visual graphic piece instead of a wholesome
movie to indulge in (I don’t even want to go into the
cliffhanger thingy). Despite the flaws in the original, Andrew
Lau did manage to craft some interesting memories for the
audience out of it. Remember Anthony Wong’s Sword Saint,
Michael Tse’s Frost, Lawrence Cheng’s Jester and
the mythical creature, the Kirin? "The Storm Riders"
created a tsunami back then but "The Storm Warriors"
only brought a slight case of wind and shower that it’s
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The DVD comes with an option of Dolby Digital 2.0
and 5.1. The latter is formidable with lots of strong bass
and sound effects to comply with the various sword moves and
powerful display of martial-arts prowess seen onscreen. Unfortunately,
it only comes with a Mandarin audio track.
by Linus Tee
Posted on 18 February 2010