An ambitious movie with very well choreographed action scenes.
The FX in this film leave a lot to be desired.
Taking place high in the clouds of China, the Zu Warriors, a renowned clan of martial arts fighters, will defend the world against a demon who seeks to destroy it. Mixing poorly done effects with masterful action sequences, the Zu Warriors is a boldly ambitious film that seems almost herculean in it's presentation. Whether battles are being waged or the mysteries of the universe explained, like Brotherhood of the Wolf, Zu Warriors is a film that refuses to let up.
The only problem that I think Zu Warriors has, other than being sort of hard to follow, is that the effects clearly look like they were shot against a green screen.
The Making Of Zu Warriors
A pretty standard making of that features the director, the cast and other members of the production talking about the story of Zu Warriors. I liked that, except for the director, everyone seems to know their role in the film, but they can't seem to fully explain this story. This seems to be one instance where not knowing is truly beneficial.
There are two versions of this movie. We have the English dubbed version that's in Widescreen - 2.35:1 - Enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Then we have a Hong Kong Extended version. To be honest, I had to go with the English dubbed version. I felt bad about this because I know that I didn't get the full experience of Zu Warriors, but I wanted to be able to follow the film in an easier way. The look of this movie is hard to describe because it is a mix of effects and moments of character development. Yet, even during it's quiet moments the viewer can see things happening right on the surface.
The English dubbed version has Dolby Digital Surround Sound while the Hong Kong Extended Version comes with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The audio in this film is what gives it it's bigness. In fact, watching it on anything less than a really good surround sound system is selling this movie short. This is a big film in which the sound and images compliment one another equally.
The three main stars of this movie are featured in the middle of this front cover. Below them, is what looks like a large valley amidst some hills in which legions have gathered. The back features some action shots from the film, a semi-confusing description of what Zu Warriors is about, a "Bonus Features"/Technical Specs listing and a cast list. Simple packaging for a movie that seems like it deserves artwork that is a bit more elaborate.
Alright, I know what you might be thinking... "Mush has slammed all the other Asian movies he's reviewed so he's giving this one a break." Now that might be somewhat true, I just liked that this one wasn't meek in it's presentation. It was fantastical and filled with magic and the kind of movie that isn't afraid to take chances. Too many of the films that we get from overseas just seem like bad Crouching Tiger rip offs.
At the end of the day, I appreciated the spirit of Zu Warriors in it's ability to tell it's tale of these beings that reside in the clouds.
Zu Warriors was released August 9, 2001.