Reviewed by

Lord Entity

Eleven years after the hostile Cloud (Aaron Kwok) and the serene Wind (Ekin Cheng) dispatched with Sonny Chiba as Lord Conqueror it would appear that the fans simply could not get enough of the high caliber wire-fu action that these two heroes could give us. If you actually saw ‘Storm Riders’ one might wonder who would actually want more of what that movie gave us, but here it is nonetheless with ‘Storm Warriors’. We could also mention that Aaron and Ekin were young strapping men when that movie came out all those years ago and now they are squarely middle aged, but we’re not going to mention this because they do still look like they can kick plenty ass. At least Aaron does. Now I had heard some horrible, horrible things about this rendition of the legendary comic, this time directed by the legendary Pang Brothers, but after spending some quality time with ‘Storm Warriors’ we really didn’t think it was all that bad quite honestly.

As our film starts Wind, Cloud and their crew are prisoners of the supremely evil Lord Godless (Simon Yam). How did this happen? Well, don’t you worry your pretty head about that because it is clearly not very important since the filmmakers didn’t bother to fill us in on that little tidbit. Godless has a simple plan of ruling the world and with these heroes in his capture he should have no problem toppling the emperor. But not so fast my friends because our heroes have a plan. I guess. Hell if I know. I do know that Lord Nameless (Kenny Ho) is on the scene ready to represent and stop Lord Godless, but unfortunately Nameless isn’t on top of his mystical game and only manages to slow Godless down slightly while freeing Wind and Cloud in the process. Whether you like this movie or not you have to love the names of the characters so I’ve gone and given myself a mystical name. For now on please refer to me as Lord Entity. Thank you for your cooperation.

One thing I’m waiting for in this movie is the eventual appearance of actor Suet Lam. I’m not absolutely certain he’s going to be in this movie but I think it is Chinese Law that all movies must have Suet Lam somewhere in them and lo and behold here he goes playing a fat guy called Piggy King. Since Nameless is too weak to take on Godless and Wind and Cloud aren’t near powerful enough, Piggy King says they need to get to the lair of Lord Wicked who is the only one left to stop Godless before he grabs the Dragon Spine and rule the country. Don’t ask, it’s complicated. I’m guessing it would help to be Chinese to completely get with it. At the lair of Wicked we also meet a couple beauties in Chu Chu (Yan Tang) who loves her some Cloud and Second Dream (Charlene Choi) who has it bad for Wind. However there is little time for love because, as we will soon find out, Lord Wicked will be of little use to us but the prophecy does say that Wind and Cloud together will be a formidable power. For his part Cloud runs off to learn some valuable skills under Nameless while Wind takes the perilous trip down the path of evil, the same taken by Wicked, but alas a necessary step if Godless is to be defeated. We only hope that Wind can return back to his natural goodie self if and when Godless is put down. Nonetheless Wind has informed Cloud should his evil take hold do not waste any time in putting him down as well. Knowing Cloud as we do we would imagine this would not be a problem. We would imagine. Slow-mo action sped up real fast shall ensue.

While Lord Entity over here will observe that the Pang Brothers have opted to go the route of style over substance for their comic book film, to the point where the substance was completely absent at certain points, but nonetheless the style was so very impressive. The sets were spectacular, the CGI was impressive, the action was brisk and plentiful, the costuming was flawless, the violence was brutal and sound was stellar. All of these impressive elements don’t necessarily add up to make a great film, oh good heavens no, but I would much rather watch these impressive elements all bound together in an okay movie than watch a crap film without them. Also as a sign that I’ve probably watched way too many of these kinds of movies, as disconnected as the narrative tended to be at points in this one, I will say that I was never completely lost within it. When I saw ‘Storm Riders’ however many years ago, I had no earthly clue what was going on in that movie most of the time as I was pretty much stuck watching Sonny Chiba chew up scenes which in the long run worked for me, but this one kind of made a little bit of sense as it moved along, and I’m saying that with the notion that the Pang Brothers crafted this film and could care less if I got it or not.

Now even though I did enjoy watching ‘Storm Warriors’ I don’t think I can go so far as calling it a ‘good movie’. The narrative as we said earlier, at least to me, was generally disconnected nonsense. The special effects were cool and all but how much slow mo / speed up can a pair of directors insert in a movie before it becomes overkill? It ends in a cliff hanger which I am completely opposed to unless the follow up movie is done already because things do tend to happen that derail the eventual successor and for all the bluster and pomp that they gave Lord Godless during this movie, he kind of went out like a punk. Very disappointing.

Yes, ‘Storm Warriors’ seemed to be completely out of control, wayward and erratic but it was plenty beautiful look at and had action to burn. More than good enough to have me anticipating the sequel… that is if there is going to be one. If not, I will be upset and nobody wants to feel the wrath of Lord Entity.

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