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Genre: War/Action
Starring: Andy Lau, Maggie Q, Sammo Hung, Andy On, Vanness Wu, Ti Lung, Yu Rongguan, Pu Cunxin, Jiang Hongbo
Director: Daniel Lee
Rating: NC-16 (Battle Scenes)

Year Made: 2008




- Trailer
- Behind the scene
- Photo Gallery
- Interviews

* without subtitles




Languages: Mandarin
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Full Height Anamorphic
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 38 mins
Region Code: PAL 3
Distributor: InnoF
orm Media




During the darkest period of Chinese history, when the country was torned by civil war and eventually divided between three rival kingdoms, a new soldier Zhao Zilong befriends fellow comrades, Luo Pingan. Zhao becomes famous when he saves the King's son. He continues to fight and win many battles and eventually is promoted to be one of the Five Tigers warriors.

As time files, Zhao becomes the only surviving Five Tigers warrior. In his later years, he leads his troop for his final battle. His opponent is Cao Cao's granddaughter.


A lot of television and movie adaptations are churned out over the years on the Chinese classic tale, “Romance of the three kingdoms”. In fact, there’s one more coming in July helmed none other than international director John Woo.

Daniel Lee’s version is on a much smaller scale, tracing instead the exploits of the little-known Zhao Zilong, one of the five famous Tiger warriors leaving bigger names such as Liu Bei and Guan Yu to the sideline. Andy Lau’s portrayal of the character Zhao Zilong perhaps is the sole highlight why you have to watch “Three Kingdoms”. As he ages in real-life, Lau’s performance on the big screen in recent times has also significantly improved. Through him, we can feel the inner struggle of Zhao as he tries hard to cling on to protect the sovereignty of his beloved country.

Lee whose past directing credits include “Black Mask” and the boxing dramas, “A Fighter’s Blues”, “Star Runner” also wrote the script, however Lee did not fatten up the story with more angles on his leading character Zhao. There’s the obligatory romance and one memorable heroic exploit. Given the slim 98 minutes running time, there isn’t much time to flesh out other supporting characters such as Zhao’s comrade, Luo Pingan (Sammo Hung) and Cao Cao’s fictional granddaughter Cao Yin (Maggie Q) either.

Talking about blink-and-missed, there’s Damien Lau as Cao Cao, Ti Lung as Guan Yu and a few relatively unknown mainland actors who puts in short but remarkable performances. If Daniel Lee could just stretch this a little further, “Three Kingdoms” might just be a best picture contender in the Asian film awards. Since spilt milk is not retractable, you just got to make do with Lau’s absorbing portrayal of Zhao Zilong.

My fellow writer on the other hand had a different take on “Three Kingdoms” which is why he gave it a four stars rating (apparent on the back of this DVD cover). On my side, I was not just disappointed by the limp story but also the haphazard action choreography by Sammo Hung.

All in all, “Three Kingdoms” can be taken only as a quick recap of the character Zhao Zilong. Consider the elements were there but Lee only manages to scratch the surface at the end.


This Code 3 DVD comes with 3 trailers, a photo gallery and interviews with Andy Lau, Sammo Hung, director Daniel Lee and Maggie Q. There’s no voiceover for the 51 minutes long Behind-the-scene feature but you get to see how the cast endure the gruelling shoot in the outskirts particularly the action sequences, Andy getting poked and also despite the technology today, we still need crew members to manually sweep up some dust for best effect.


The visual transfer here is excellent and it shouldn’t disappoint if you watched it on your LCD screen. With the original Dolby Digital 5.1 mix intact, the action sequences are a marvel to watch. Horses pounding and warriors chanting through the surround speakers, it’s a pity the original Cantonese track is not included as an option.  



Review by Linus Tee


. Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon (Movie Review)

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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


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