Mò Gōng (original title) has also been titled ‘Battle of the Warriors‘ and ‘Battle of Kingdoms‘
370 BC during the Warring States period, Ge Li, a Mohist, comes to help the King of Liang defend his city against the Zhao army. But as Ge Li’s popularity grows, so does the Kings jealousy! Throughout the film I enjoyed watching Ge Li and Xiang Yanzhong try to outwit each other.
I like this film, it is not perfect but it is enjoyable! Big production budget that was spent in the right places. Fantastically detailed costumes, the sets and locations are also well done and chosen. The acting was believable getting Andy Lau a nomination for best actor 2007 Asian Film Award. The film would get a total of 3 wins and 20 nominations for 2007. Also the cast list is an all star! Andy Lau is suave and cool as always. Nicky Wu & Yu Chenghui break away from there normal TV rolls for the silver screen. Then we have Wu Ma. Wu Ma is a personal favorite of mine, I’ll watch any film with him in it (and he has been in some low budget films). Ahn Sung-ki impressed me in Musa and I wasn’t let down in Battle of Wits either, I really should find more of his work to watch.
Based on the Japanese manga Bokko, written and illustrated by Hideki Mori, the script and plot are simple however the second half does get mired down by over complex twist and hyped up suspense. This is my big complaint about the film. I’m not sure if all the court intrigue was necessary, although maybe it was in the manga? I’ve never read the manga so I can not testify how true it stays to the original plot.
Andy Lau (Moon Warriors, House of Flying Daggers, The Duel) as Ge Li, the Mohist who leads the defence of Liang.
Wang Zhiwen (The Emperor and the Assassin, The Storm Riders, The Warrior and the Wolf) as the King of Liang
Choi Siwon (Dragon Blade) as Liang Shi, the Prince of Liang.
Ahn Sung-ki (Musa) as Xiang Yanzhong, the commander-in-chief of the Zhao army.
Yu Chenghui (Shaolin Temple, The Return of the Condor Heroes) as Dongbo, a Liang general.
Chin Siu-ho (Ten Tigers of Kwangtung, Masked Avengers, Fist of Legend) as Niu Zizhang, a Liang general.
Directed by Jacob Cheung (The White-Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom)
Action Directors: Stephen Tung Wai, Kang Jing-Qi, An Wan-De
Love HK Film review
HK Cinemagic review