Dynasty Warriors is not the video game adaptation you’ve been waiting for. The Action Hack-n-Slash franchise, which dates back to 1997 and consists of nine different games, is a single-player tactical role-playing game that, at first glance, offers some potential cinematic achievements.
First, the super-top fights have to match the action sequences on the big screen. The world’s epic construction allows for a lot of design flexibility. And history lessons need to give the process a strong aura.
Roy Hin Yeung the director of Chow’s Dynasty Warriors is a two-hour catchphrase that misses the boring hijins and razor-sharp combat accuracy required for a delightful adventure.
The script for Dynasty Warriors is tragically poetic.
Three travelling soldiers Liu Bei (Tony Yo-Ning Yang), Guan Yu (Geng Han) and Zhang Fei (Justin Cheung). Gathered with honour and loyalty to the Han Dynasty – work to bring the child emperor Liu Bian back to the throne carrying after taking over The terrible Chancellor Dong Zhuo (Suet Lam).
Chow and screenwriter Chi-long hope viewers have a healthy prior knowledge. Therefore, the characters do not have any story. How the trio of warriors came together or the origins of each. But if you haven’t played one or more games, you’re lost.
To make matters worse, Chow struggled a bit to tie one of the hanging threads. One of the most powerful fighter in Dong Zhuo’s army, Lü Bu (Louis Koo), unexpectedly falls for his commander Diao Chan (Kuli Nasha).
The fiancé of Cao Cao (Kai Wang), a loyal servant of the young emperor who is willing to sacrifice anything to bring the Han dynasty back to power, commits a bloody and heinous crime that has never been verified.
Given tropical hallucinogenic visions and powerful weapons by the mystical master of the sword-making castle (Karina Lau), the three warriors never exhibit the combined power one would expect from such magical abilities.
In terms of tattered visual effects, the screen production value barely reaches The Last Airbender’s level.
The large-scale clashes between armies were filled with terrifying visual artefacts. Likewise, the robotic movements of the soldiers, like the barely depicted stick, distract from the dangerous level of carnage.
A reasonable conclusion is that these shabby graphics are meant to follow the previous iteration of gameplay. Even if you make excuses like that, this is a film with a confident expectation of style and quality. Which the warriors of the dynasty lacked.
Chow continues to blur the line between cinema and gaming with cheap, repetitive compositions that mirror game cutscenes. It was as if he was the first to start designing a game. I give up. And then he re-directed the footage for the film.
The graphics choices make Dynasty Warriors’ basic storey incomprehensible, add unnecessary fat to the bloated two-hour mode, and barely guarantee the aesthetic quality of the low-resolution screensaver.
If you want to see a series of overexposed landscapes broadcast in succession, skip this film. Turn on the TV. And let the Chromecast slideshow do its job for less.
It’s hard to gauge what Dynasty Wars does well.
The gold-plated production design from the Han era gives the screen action a brilliant sheen. Likewise, the lively and colourful armour. But that’s it. The show is selfless and struggles to add a consistent emotional line between “1 vs. 100” bloodshed. Because of this, the last third of the action feels rushed.
A trio of soldiers has an anti-climate battle with Lu Bu: stuffed with sets like lightning-charged ghost bombs – only for the story to jump forward five years into a future where Bei and Cao are already enemies.
One can only assume that Chow and Co. want to turn it into a film franchise. That would be a mistake. Because they have to understand what a movie is before they can do more.
The film adaptation of the Dynasty Warriors video game series by Roy Hin Yong Chow disappoints at every turn. While the film pays homage to its source material both narratively and aesthetically, some of the changing media have stuck to the rules of today’s art forms. The route that Chow accidentally shot with his nose.
At one point, a character explains: “Characters only emerge from chaos.” Amid chaotic interpretations on the big screen, this is less of a mess. This is nothing. A film that even the characters can’t save.