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“Every cent of the reported $16 million budget is on the screen” – Derek Elley, VARIETY
Director: Tony Ching Siu-Tung
Screenplay: James Yuen, Cheung Tan, Chun Tin-Nam
Cast: Donnie Yen, Kelly Chen, Leon Lai, Guo Xiaodong
Producers: Gin Lau, Claudie Chung
In the heat of battle, after being grievously wounded by an arrow, the king passes command of his troops to his adopted son, the general Muyong—to the bitter surprise of his nephew Wu Ba, who in a storm of anger takes the life of the monarch. Following this tragedy, power is handed to Muyong, who for his part has a better idea. He will train the princess Feier to become a legendary warrior, so that she might assume the throne in time. Wu Ba will not allow himself to be robbed of power, not by a bastard son and certainly not by a young girl. He sets his sights on the elimination of Feier. When the assassination attempt takes place, the princess is rescued by a nature-loving young hermit, a man who will teach her lessons that fall outside the realm of warfare.
One of a number of spectacular martial arts epics unleashed by China this year, AN EMPRESS AND THE WARRIORS stars a central icon of modern martial arts cinema, Donnie Yen, who so many of you enjoyed in his memorable, rain-soaked fight against Jet Li in HERO, and who radiated such force and determination in SEVEN SWORDS. He was discovered in 1984, at the tender age of 19, by the master action choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping (FIST OF LEGEND, THE MATRIX). Since that time, Yen has inexorably scaled the ranks of his craft, appearing on screen alongside some of the most important names in the field, including Jackie Chan, Nicholas Tse and Sammo Hung. It’s guaranteed that his battle against an entire army in this film will be one of the most talked-about moments at Fantasia this year. And as he always does, Yen surrounds himself with exceptional talent here, including the lovely Kelly Chen (TOKYO RAIDERS, INFERNAL AFFAIRS) and Leon Lai (SEVEN SWORDS, MATRIMONY). In the director’s chair is a sure bet, Ching Sui-Tung (SWORDSMAN II, A CHINESE GHOST STORY), working from a powerful script by Chun Tin Nam, from whose pen has previously sprung NEW POLICE STORY and SEVEN SWORDS.