Warriors of the Nation review by Bobby Blakey
Well Go USA continues to bring the best in Asian cinema to the US market most notably in the martial arts genre. The latest Warriors of the Nation features Vincent Zhao reprising his role as Wong Fei Hung that he played previously in the Once Upon A Time in China series, The Unity of Heroes and Kung-Fu Alliance to name a few. Could this latest outing offer up more of the same kung fu action or will it not be able to live up to the legend?
Warriors of the Nation follows the end of the Sino-Japanese War where a top military officer, Zhang Zhidong, is kidnapped in the middle of the night by a militant organization called the White Lotus Society. When he overhears a sinister plot to overthrow the central government by China’s own military officials, Wong Fei Hung knows he must rescue Zhang to protect China and prevent another war from happening. I love all things martial arts so seeing Vincent Zhao reprise Wong Fei Hung once again had me excited. Like most of the films in the characters history this is a standalone film so its not overly important to see the previous films.
Zhao steps right back into the role like he never left bringing an old school vibe to the whole film. In a world where most of the martial arts films look for straight forward action and over the top violence it is always fun to see these old school films. The action is plenty and filled with the classic kung fu wire work complete with so many unbelievable moments that it will have old school fans smiling throughout. Not all the fights are great with a few that are a bit too slow to buy into, but still fun.
These films are at their best when they really push the limits with over the top weapons and costumes and this film is no different. Right out of the gate we are introduced to the White Lotus Society through a series of crazy gravity defying moments and silliness that lets you know what kind of martial arts film you just walked into. The first fight sequence of the film makes sure to keep that streak alive pulling no punches in it’s over the top tone. This is in no way an attack on the film as I love this stuff and had fun revisiting the old school genre.
Whether you are a martial arts film fan or just need to complete your Vincent Zhao Wong Fei Hung collection be sure to grab your copy of Warriors of the Nation when it hits February 18th on Blu-ray and DVD from Well Go USA.