" Posters Note: Both posters were googled randomly, and borrowed for illustration purpose for this write-up. "
A Battle of Wits 《墨攻》: Two movies in two days. You may think that was quite a feat, but it is not. My personal record was having five movies in seven days, which includes three movies marathon in a day. That was during my days in Kuala Lumpur, where all the cinematic indulgence lies.
Let's not get carried away. Back to the movie, A Battle of Wits (BoW) casted stars from Hong Kong, Korea and China, with Andy Lau leading the casts. Here's a little synopsis of the movie, I hope I don't overdo it, and include all the spoilers.
BoW is an adaptation from Japanese comic by Kenichi Sakemi. Set in the Warring State Period (战国时代), when Kingdom of Zhao (赵) was marching towards Kingdom of Yan (燕), in quest to defeat one of the six other rival kingdom at that time. Unfortunately, little City of Liang (梁城) stood in the way of Zhao army. Zhao army intended to overwhelm City of Liang in their build up to the battle against Kingdom of Yan.
While City of Liang was to besieged by the large army from Zhao Kingdom, the King of Liang was intimidated by the large number of troops Zhao was sending. His army was clearly outnumbered, it was clearly a David versus Goliath battle. He intended to surrender, and to plea for mercy. In such desperation, his advisers sent for help form the MoZi (墨子), hoping for a savior to come in time before Zhao army commence the besiege.
In the long horizon, approached a figure. The face unseen, hidden under the hood. As he approached the city, he showed demeanor of hope. The only hope the men in the city can cling onto, the only hope, if they were to survive the attack from a mighty 100,000 well-trained men, with just 4,000 men to defend the city. Can he do it? Or the question is, how will he do it?
I am impressed by how the MoZi follower, GeLi (Andy Lau) used his wisdom to outwit the Zhao army. Although he stood on neutral ground, only protecting and defending the city he was assigned to, he was superior in plotting and planning the war strategy throughout the battle. Even so, as good as he was on the battlefield, what he had been doing, has been contrasting of what he believed in (the Mohism philosophy).
He was struggling within himself.
On better written comment, I recommend this from Dick Steel of Singapore.
This movie doesn't emphasis on art and beauty, as The Banquet (夜宴) had shown us. I find BoW had delivered strong movie plot, with strong characters brought up by equally every actors/actresses. I have never read the comic myself, but from the movie, it was all good.
I personally give credits to all the leading casts - Andy Lau, Fan Bingbing, Nicky Wu Qi-Long, Sung-kee Ahn, Siu-hou Chin, Si Won Choi, etc. Also, the whole production team, director. It's certainly a movie to watch.
The movie runtime is 133 minutes (2 hours 13 minutes) long. Check your local cinema listing and admit yourself to the movie before too late.
GSC's sub-site for BoW <here>.
Official site for BoW <here>.
" End Note: The movie passed Malaysian Censorship Board with flying colors. No uzi was fired. None at all. Upcoming movie rivaling BoW, Curse of the Golden Flower (满城尽带黄金甲). Let's see how different it is from . "