Friday, December 12, 2008

An Empress and the Warriors

R3 Hong Kong

An Empress and the Warriors features a Kelly Chen you've never seen before: in armor. The Canto-pop queen heads into battle for this impressive period adventure, in which she stars as Yan Feier, a determined princess who is given control of her troubled, war torn kingdom. Chen trained extensively to handle the role's physical demands, learning to ride a horse and handle a sword for director Tony Ching Siu Tung, who previously handled the action for Zhang Yimou's Hero and House of Flying Daggers, as well as numerous martial arts classics. Chen's co-stars are also top-notch; Leon Lai is her paramour, a kindly doctor with a hidden past, and action superstar Donnie Yen is her childhood friend and toughest warrior - and a man who holds a secret affection for his empress. A lavish tale filled with action and romance, An Empress and the Warriors is the 21st Century answer to the beloved Hong Kong Cinema swordplay classics of old.
Yan Feier (Kelly Chen) is thrust into the role of empress when her father the King is viciously murdered by his own nephew, Wu Ba (Guo Xiao Dong). His treachery unknown to Feier, Wu Ba plots to gain control of the kingdom for himself. Meanwhile, Feier turns to legendary warrior Brother Hu (Donnie Yen) to instruct her in the ways of warfare. But Wu Ba sends assassins after Feier, and she's poisoned by an assassin's dart before being lost in the woods. Her absence throws the kingdom into chaos, and Brother Hu must maintain morale, all the while carrying a hidden love for his missing empress. Meanwhile, Feier is found and nursed back to health by Duan Lanquan (Leon Lai), a doctor who lives in a secluded forest treehouse. Lanquan awakens the woman within the warrior's armor, and given the alternative of a peaceful life without war, Feier must eventually make a difficult choice. Should she choose love, and remain just a woman? Or should she choose her kingdom, and return to being an empress?

The story is set in ancient China before its unification, during which countless kingdoms battle for supremacy. Yen Feier [Kelly Chen] is thrust onto the throne when her father is killed in battle. Feier and her loyal Muyong Xuehu [Donnie Yen] unite to defend the kingdom. But her ambitious cousin Wu Ba [Guo Xiao-dong] sends assassins to kill her. A mysterious man Duan Lan-Quan [Leon Lai] saves her. Feier falls in love with Duan who offers her another life. With the fate of their kingdom in the balance, Feier must choose between her duty and her dreams.

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