Movie Review: The Empress and the Warriors

The Empress and the Warriors as a fiction might have been inspired by great women of history such as Chinese female military genius Wang Cong'er or maybe Queen Elizabeth who herself was at first, doubtful if she could revive England.  In ancient Korea, there was Queen Seondok.  In this one, the fiction tries to keep itself realistic and Empress Yan Fei'er (acted by Kelly Chen) seems to be a character of fiction blended from real life characters.  And it's set in a time when chauvinism was a norm.  Fortunately Yan Fei'er is no Amazonian either.  She tries to strive for gender fairness in a land ruled by male sexists and she must battle her cousin, who can't accept the fact that the throne is ruled by a woman for the first time!

So here it is- Yan Huba is a sexist and schemer.  Sexist, because he can't accept his female cousin will succeed the throne.  By right and lineage, Fei'er is the rightful heir of the throne which makes Huba an imposter.  I would admit he is also one effective villain.  He does not only send assassins against Fei'er but he does manage to become a de-facto ruler.  The villain himself has had plans for the throne already proving he is the ambitious bastard that he really is.  He sends assassins to attack the princess, who wasn't trained in battle and is just a newbie in battle.  The training scene is done by Xuehu, who is acted by martial arts legend Donnie Yen.

But fate smiles over the princess.  Fei'er finds herself rescued by Lanquan (Leon Lai) a mysterious hermit.  I would say man he really knows how to make traps and all.  I would admit that the developing romance is another plot.  Fei'er must choose to continue her father's legacy or not to continue it.  Which for one, she has developed feelings for Lanquan but she has her responsibilities to perform.  I would say writing this dilemma was too predictable for the writing team of James Yuen, Cheung Tan and Tin Nam-chun.

It's interesting how the movie shows adversity can mold anyone and it certainly did for Fei'er.  She wasn't initially built for battle.  But as the show goes on, she goes for battle.  She changes her mind about her romantic relationship with the hermit.  She is reunited with her mentor and now bodyguard.  The conflict between the Yan Kingdom and the Zhao Kingdom goes on, to which Fei'er proves her better ability in diplomacy.  But one thing is certain, the villain isn't giving up so easily.

This proves to be the villain's downfall.  His greed and sexism become his downfall especially with how he leads his men yet again.  This time he plans to kill Xuehu and Duanyan.  Duayan dies, not really surprising as war themed shows get them a lot.  Fortunately the dainty princess has been hardened during her time in the woods.  After a fight with the treacherous villain Hubu, she manages to kill him personally.  She does her job as empress to fix the conflicts between the kingdoms in Imperial China.

My rating?  8/10 stars.


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