Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Muk Gong (A Battle of Wits): Chi Leung Cheung (09.04.08)

An Interesting Hong Kong historical set in the 4th century BC where a small knigdom is under attack from a much larger
one and is saved by a warrior philosopher. The film is based on a Japanese manga but there is no indication of the origin
as there has been in some manga based adaptations. A number of set piece battles with real people rather than CGI
dummies are excellently staged and filmed both in longshot and in close-up including one anachronistic attack with
manned balloons. Andy Lau in the lead role underplays which adds to the realism of the story - a more flamboyant
approach would have been very offputting - and the other leads are well played apart, I thought, from the king. One
reason I had for going was to justify my membership of the ICA and I am glad I did as I might well have missed this
first rate film otherwise.

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