Notable Cast: Adam Cheng, Ekin Cheng, Yu Bo, Vic Chou, Li Chen, Raymond Lam, Wu Chun, Fu Xinbo, Shao Bing
While Ronny Yu’s career has had some twists and turns of it’s own, from a brief career as a director in China with “Bride With White Hair” to his horror leap in the US and back to his roots with the epic Jet Li film “Fearless,” my expectations for his historical (sort of) war epic “Saving General Yang” was high. He’s always been a dark horse director of sorts and each of his films tends to be fairly distinct from the others. For his latest, he harkens back to an old school feeling film with some modern flair and the results, while perhaps uneven, are entertaining to say the least.
When the kingdom’s peace is threatened by war, General Yang (Adam Cheng) is assigned to be the backing force for the main army to quell the mounting tension from a young and vicious villain Yuan (Shao Bing). Little does he know that there is an ulterior motive behind the attack and Yang is forced into hiding in the mountains. With no help on the way, his seven sons decide to take it into their own hands with a handful of soldiers to find their father and return him to safety…perhaps falling into the trap they set out to defend.
|"We come bearing horses. And staffs. And soldiers. And armor. And grimaces."
|...and then, the grass attacked.
For what it’s worth, I had a blast with “Saving General Yang.” It might not be the overtly serious and dramatic “war epic” that the term has come to mean in recent years, but the Shaw Brothers inspired plot and slightly gimmicky execution make for a film that I will watch over and over again. Some might not be able to buy into the cheesiness of the film, but I felt it only added to the entertainment that Ronny Yu and company deliver.
Written By Matt Reifschneider