Movie Details

White Vengeance

"White Vengeance", also known as "Hong Men Yan", is an upcoming Chinese historical film directed by Daniel Lee starring Leon Lai, Feng Shaofeng, Liu Yifei, Zhang Hanyu, Anthony Wong, Jordan Chan, Andy On, Xiu Qing and Jia Qing. The film centres on the Feast at Hong Gate (or Hongmen Banquet) that is one of the important events in the Chu-Han Contention.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: English / Chinese
Classification: PG13
Release Date: 1 Dec 2011
Genre: Action / Drama / Historical
Running Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES, ENCORE FILMS
Cast: Leon Lai, Feng Shaofeng, Zhang Hanyu, Anthony Wong, Jordan Chan, Andy On, Crystal Liu Yifei
Director: Daniel Lee
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Lester Gan Wai Lun

Writer Ratings:
Overall:
Cast:
Plot:
Effects:
Cinematography:

Watch this if you liked: "Legend Of The Flying Swordsman"

This film "White Vengeance" or also known as "Hong Men Yan (Hongmen Banquet)" is based on an actual historical event that took place once upon a time in China. Director Daniel Lee manages the tough task of preserving the main plot of the story very well despite having to instill new elements to it.

The script was intelligently written and was balanced out with some well planned action scenes. A love-triangle was also introduced despite it being not mentioned in the actual story, which makes for an interesting addition to one of its many variations.

The story starts off on the battlefield with Xiang Yu, a prominent military leader and political figure, leading the Chu rebel forces in a bid to overthrow the Qin dynasty. Liu Bang, in the actual story was put in charge of an army by the king of Chu to attack Qin. In this film, Xiang Yu was the leader of the entire army contingents. What was not or only vaguely mentioned in this film is that the king of Chu, in the actual story, promised that whoever that manages to enter Guangzhong (heartland of Qin) would be granted the title "King of Guanzhong ". So it was a little puzzling when Liu Bang went behind Xiang Yu's back to conquer Xiangyang(being the first to enter Guanzhong) through diplomatic negotiations. These events eventually led to the Hongmen Banquet event hosted by Xiang Yu with the plot to assassinate Liu Bang.

However, the characters were never properly introduced, you know their names, but you won't know how they are related to one another. Reading up the actual story on Wikipedia will give you a better perspective and understanding when watching the film. The performance of the casts were close to superb, for some reason actor Shao-feng Feng (Xiang Yu) looked a lot like Johnny Depp in this film.

The effects were the most disappointing part of all, the graphic rendering of the background horses and soldiers were too obvious not to be seen. Also, whether it is the lack of research or not, crossbows have no business being in this film, seeing as this event occurred during the second century BC whereas crossbows were only invented two centuries later.

Putting aside the minor nitpicks; this is undoubtedly one of the better Chinese films of the year. A little reading up on the actual event on Wikipedia would enhance the film experience by a long mile.

Cinema Online, 25 November 2011
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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