Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Battle of Wits / Muk Gong (China, 2006)

Battle of Wits, by director Chi Leung 'Jacob' Cheung, is a movie that deals about war. The tactics of war that are being used to deceive your opponent. But it is also a movie about betrayal and the cruelty of leaders/kings.

The first part of the movie shows the siege of a town. The defence has been taken care of a mysterious warrior, Ge Li, who has great knowledge about war. Though he manages to keep the city safe, the king doesn’t trust him anymore. He thinks he is wanting to take all the power to himself. This brings us to the second part of this film. Now the attackers strike again and without Ge Li the city is easily captured. But.....will Ge Li have another way to save the people and king who betrayed him. What is victory?

It really is an interesting film about the elements of the tactics of war. It has its weak moments as well, sometimes the director don’t seem to control the tension of the story very well. The music is sometimes brilliant and sometimes it is just gone (not completely of course, but not very strong), gone during a battle scene were some music really could help to make it more exciting. But, it really is a fascinating view on war and it is even very philosophical about honour.

The action is pretty good, the clothing is nicely done and the acting is pretty good as well. The main character is played by Chinese superstar Andy Lau. for the ones who like a movie about the tactics of war it is a great one, in fact everybody who is interested in watching a movie with a different view on war it is a must see. For those who do not know, it is based on the popular manga ‘bokkou’.