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風雲─雄霸天下 (1998)
The Storm Riders


Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011


Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 10/30/2010


Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 10/18/2009

The decline of Hong Kong's once distinct brand of shoe string budget filmmaking could be (and by some has been) tied to this hotly anticipated wuxia epic based on the popular comic book series Wind Cloud.

An inadvertent but nonetheless biting allegory for post-handover Hong Kong cinema Andrew Lau's "The Storm Riders" is a film divided by contradictions: The bubble gum cast is peppered with cameos from solid, established, reliable actors. The episodic nature of Manfred Wong's script despite a healthy two plus hour runtime is a thoroughly unelaborated upon odyssey that might have lived up to its potential as a 10 part TV mini series though once the film sets in this mess is hard to give up on. Comfort Chan's score which sounds as if it was lifted from a popular video game is a downright insult a la the underwhelming aesthetic quality of the overwrought CGI. Director Andrew Lau, who pulls double duty as the film's cinematographer, makes the most of China's natural beauty.

"The Storm Riders: The International Version" is dubbed in English and exorcises nearly 40 minutes of footage rendering an already incomplete film officially unintelligible.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 08/05/2006

Teamed with producers Wong Jing and Manfred Wong, director/cinematographer Andrew Lau had been quite prolific during the 4 years spanning 1997 to 2000. After beginning his career in the 1980's shooting films like Where's Officer Tuba? and As Tears Go By, Lau rose to prominence as a director with the extremely popular Young and Dangerous and its wildly successful sequels.

A lot has been written about The Storm Riders, so you may know quite a bit about this film already. I hated it when I first saw it but that had more to do with the pirate video from Malaysia than the actual film itself. Later I saw the film in the cinema. Frankly, I thought it was great! The CG effects were fantastic, used in a very imaginative way to advance the epic nature of the film. This is one of those very rare films that this reviewer likes more and more after each screening.

More at happyfortune.org

Copyright 2001 j.crawford

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Anticlimacus
Date: 05/14/2006
Summary: Smokescreen Riders

Storm Riders
Chinese Action

The most appropriate opening statement for this review would have to be the following: Storm Riders is one of the most overrated movies to EVER come out of China.

First of all, the movie proved insatiably annoying within the first half hour. The first action sequence (in a forest) is a disgrace to the art of action choreography, using quick-cuts and non-fluid camera tricks that play out like you’re watching a slide show (similar to those used in Ashes of Time). Add to this a “wise man” who talks as if he’s a robot with a stick up his rear-end, and one has in the making a remarkably poor film that annoys to the point of making the viewer angry.

The use of extremely poor action is the hallmark of this film, as well as its brother movie A Man Called Hero. I have always held that the concept of “action” demands that the characters actually DO something. They don’t here. Storm Riders first walks the dubious roads trekked by Pistol Opera in having its characters perform theatre poses, only to then invoke the Pokemon-like glowing balls used in A Man Called Hero. Who could possibly call this nonsense “action” while keeping a straight face?

The fact of the matter is that the special effects in this movie are used as a smokescreen to mask its deficiencies in action choreography. It’s as if the makers of this movie didn’t feel like taking the time to painstakingly map out fight scenes or brainstorm over fresh combinations of moves and maneuvers. The result is a series of artsy confrontations devoid of any quality whatsoever.

The fact that Storm Riders is absurdly overrated is beyond question. One reviewer on this web site went so far as to compare this movie with The Matrix because it “sets up a new dimension of film making.” If the exploitative substitution of cartoons for quality action set pieces is to be deemed a “new dimension”, then I suppose he is correct.

Rating = 1/5 stars

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 03/16/2006
Summary: Fun fantasy with great special effects...

The Storm Riders is a fine film chock-full of intrigue, betrayal and lost love. Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok play two adopted children of Conqueror (Sonny Chiba) who have grown into powerful martial artists and may determine his destiny. After receiving a prophecy from the Mud Buddha (Wayne Lai Yiu-Cheung), Conqueror finds the two children from their birth charts and, after killing their parents, raises them as his own. He determines that if he can manipulate them and raise them as his allies, he can escape his own fate and rule all of China. Whispering Wind (Cheng) and Striding Cloud (Kwok) have grown into distictly different men, with Cloud carrying out Conqueror's wishes (no matter how evil) without question while Wind has developed an acute concious, as well as a deep love for Conqueror's daughter Charity (Kristy Yeung Kung-Yu). Although she is bethrothed to Wind, Cloud has also fallen in love with her, which exposes a growing rivalry that has disastrous consequences. After the falling out, the real question remains as to whether or not Cloud and Wind will indeed put their differences aside and fulfill their destinies.

I was very pleasantly surprised by The Storm Riders and it's great use of top-notch special effects. Save for an awkward initial battle that has an obvious computer-generated background and effects, the rest of the movie lives up to the hype with fantasticly cool powers and choreography. Although I have never read the comic, the incredible fighting styles of Cloud, Wind and Conqueror seem to be represented in an innovative and exciting way. Although obviously known mostly for their singing, both Cheng and Kwok give good performances (although somewhat limited emotionally) to their characters. Sonny Chiba is excellent as well, obviously having fun with the supreme Conqueror. Although billed somewhat prominently, Shu Qi plays a small part as Muse, the daughter of a local healer who cares for Wind after a paticularly bloody fight. Even with limited screen time, she manages to display a significant amount of pouts, coyish smiles and generally uber-cute emotions. She without doubt has a screen presence that the camera and audiences can not get enough of. If you are a fan of epic-style story telling with interesting characters, complex plots and fantastical wuxia marital arts abilites, The Storm Riders should certainly be on your lists of must-sees.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/17/2005

After years of losing out at the box office to big-budget Hollywood movies, some of Hong Kong's most talented film-makers teamed up to create The Storm Riders. Taking two years and over ten million US dollars (both an eternity and fortune in the quick-paced and tight-budgeted world of HK cinema), the film created quite a storm of its' own upon release, becoming the top box-office draw for 1998 and revitalizing the wuxia (fantasy swordplay) genre, which had taken a backseat to the latest group of "'new' new wave" directors such as Wong Kar-Wai and Johnnie To, who were more interested in portraying gritty crime movies or social dramas than wire-fu.

It's quite interesting that one of the most financially successful of these directors, Andrew Lau, helmed The Storm Riders. Lau and screenwriter Manfred Wong were behind the Young and Dangerous series, some of the most popular films in recent HK history. Coupled with the fact that Y&D star Ekin Cheng -- along with other Y&D alumni such as Anthony Wong and Roy Cheung -- are featured in the movie, I was a bit skeptical, thinking perhaps The Storm Riders was going to be like Young and Dangerous with swords instead of "choppers".

Boy, was I wrong. The Storm Riders is far apart from Y&D and similar fare. It was definitely a much-needed shot in the arm for the martial arts movie and HK cinema as a whole. Even though some people have decried the film as a sign of the downfall of Hong Kong cinema, saying that like Hollywood, special effects replaced storytelling, it remains in my humble opinion one of the most entertaining movies to come out of HK in recent years.

The story centers around an evil warlord known as Conquer (played by the great Sonny Chiba), who learns from a mystic that two children known as Wind (Cheng) and Cloud (Aaron Kwok) will determine his fate. To keep the children (and his destiny) under his control, Conquer kills their parents and adopts the boys as his own. Ten years later as Conquer controls most of China, save for a small province under the mysterious Saint Sword's (Wong) control, Wind and Cloud begin to learn the truth about their past and set their sights on destroying Conquer.

Okay, so the plot isn't revolutionary -- it's basically the tried-and-true revenge scheme played out in countless other movies. The script isn't that good either. Many characters are poorly developed and come and go on a whim. Whole plot lines (such as the one dealing with Saint Sword) are weakly resolved within a minute or two. The actors (other than Chiba, making a great return to quality movies instead of the B-movie crap like Immortal Combat he's been doing the past few years in the States) range from wooden (Kwok) to just plain dull (Cheng, who must still think he's Ho Nam from Young and Dangerous, because he's still acting exactly like the character, right down to that annoying shit-eating grin). Even the good character actors (like Wong) are given painfully little to work with.

All that being said, I still had a great time with The Storm Riders. It's the ultimate "style over substance" movie. It just looks awesome. No other movie has come closer to capturing the look and feel of an anime (Japanese animation). This is wire-fu at is craziest. Characters can freeze their opponents, turn water into spears or shoot giant fireballs from their hands.

These kinds of things have been shown in a lot of movies before, but, quite honestly, the effects looked like crap and were unconvincing. Not here. Besides a cheesy-looking fire beast, the special effects are really well done -- which is quite a compliment for the filmmakers, since CGI technology in HK is probably a year or two behind that of the US. Coupled with Lau's brisk visual style and the inventive editing techniques, the fight scenes are some of the most incredible ever put to celluoid.

Don't expect a great story or Oscar-caliber performances and you'll enjoy The Storm Riders a lot. Many other films (most notably Legend of Zu) have come out since this movie came out and tried to imitate this its' blitzkrieg style and failed. It takes something special to rope in a potential powderkeg such as this, and Andrew Lau and company have accomplished just that.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: Arshadnm6
Date: 04/11/2005
Summary: A Bonanza of Special Effects and Galore!!!........

An manga-style fantasy martial arts / adventure spectacle with plenty of visual effects and a stardom of cast. ‘Ekin Cheng’ and ‘Aaron Kwok’ star as Wind and Storm respectively, two young apprentices, abducted when they were kids and trained in martial arts by the notorious Lord Conqueror (Sonny Chiba, whom you might recognize from earlier work in ‘Casino Raiders’ and ‘The Street Fighter’). Lord Conquer is the leader of the Conqueror’s Clan and is hell-bent on total supremacy in the world of martial arts. Prophet Mud Buddha (played by ‘Lai Yiu-Cheung, whom you might recognize from earlier work in ‘Bio-Zombie’ and ‘Armageddon’) for-tells the future and instructs Lord Conqueror to abduct Wind and Storm (when they are only kids) and make them his disciples and then after ten years time he will reveal more about his future, this will bring Lord Conqueror much prosperity for him and his kingdom. Lord Conquer does as instructed, wiping out Wind and Storm’s family in order to retain them.

Ten years later, both Storm and Wind have become Lord Conqueror’s supreme commanders. Wind is a kind noble warrior, whom possesses the powerful ‘wind kick’ and cloud, is a hot tempered moody warrior, who’s ‘cloud palms’ allow him to utilize the power of any type of fluid with powerful results. Lord Conqueror desperately seeks to find Mud Buddha again to determine the second half of his legacy. When Lord Conquer finally meets up with Mud Buddha he finds out that his destiny allows Wind and Storm to make him and then break him.

Lord Conqueror plots to turn Cloud and Wind against each other, using his beautiful daughter ‘Chairty’ (Kristy Yeung), by marrying her of to Wind, whereas Storm is deeply in love with her. But unfortunately the plan goes awry and Lord conquer accidentally kills his daughter and before too long they both turn on their master.

Ekin Cheung’s acting it bleak through out this movie, where at times he takes a back role to Aaron kwok. Also the crying scenes (especially where Sonny Chiba rubs of his daughter) are no oscar-winning performances and should have been contained. There is very little character development, some background and history references, but overall not much time is given to understand the characters relation with one another. ‘Kirsty Yeung’ and ‘Michael Tse Tin-Wah’ play more of a supporting actor roles, as Lord conqueror’s disciples, and their death in this movie is hardly worth crying about. There are other minor roles from actors like ‘Roy Cheung’ (as a Shaolin Monk), ‘Anthony Wong’ (as ‘Sword Saint’), ‘Alex Fong’ (as whispering prince) and ‘Shu Qi’ (as Muse, whom later develops a love interest with Aaron Kwok). Andrew Lau has done a good job of portraying each character and the feel of the dynasty and Era, have been very well done. Although there are too many defects in this movie that can’t be helped at times, especially with the over acting and at times Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng hardly put more than a few words in each sentence, which sometimes gives you the feeling whether their characters are supposed to have a speech impediment.

Overall very well done movie and some worthy action sequences that certainly keep this movie away from the Low-Class HK movies, but too many actors tied up in one movie which only gives each of them a quick few minutes to allow them to build up their character before they get killed or thrown in Lord Conqueror’s dungeon of pain.

Overall Rating: 8.1/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: SteelwireMantis
Date: 10/23/2003
Summary: Entertaining masterpiece

Ekin Cheng collaborates with Andrew Lau once again after the 'Young & Dangerous' series in an adaptation of the popular Chinese comic book 'Wind and Cloud' with Cheng and Aaron Kwok as the title characters.

In order to fulfill a prophecy that will make him powerful than he is, Conquerer (Sonny Chiba) goes on a manhunt for 2 young boys, Whispering Wind (Ekin Cheng) and Striding Cloud (Aaron Kwok). Years have past, Wind and Cloud have grown older. Although Cloud has a burning fire for the revenge of his father, he feels affectionate towards Charity (Kirsty Yeung) the daughter of Conqueror. Once realising the truth about the death of their families, Wind and Cloud create a Storm powerful enough to shake the universe.

This movie has it all, excellent plot, brilliant characters, excellent performances and brilliant special effects. Aaron Kwok steals the show with his stone-cold performance as Cloud, the special effects are exciting and also very advanced for a 1998 Hong Kong movie. If they do plan to make a 'DBZ' movie, it should be directed by Andrew Lau.

One of the best films to come out of Hong Kong, it proves to be better than many American blockbusters released at the time and many after. (FULL LENGTH SUBTITLED VERSION STRONGLY RECOMMENDED, AVOID US VERSION).

A classic.

*****/*****

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: Neo Cheng
Date: 09/11/2003
Summary: A 4/5 stars Movie

The Storm Riders (1998)

Main Genre: Fantasy

Movie Sunstance:
Fantasy 50%;
Drama 25%;
Action 20%;
Romanticism 5%

Movie Statistics:
Acting 3/5;
Story 3/5;
Tension 4/5;
Soundtrack 4/5;
Directing 3/5

Genre Statistics:
Action 4/5;
SFX (Special Effects): 3/5

Overall Rating:
4/5

'Watch Agian' Rating:
4/5

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Wilpuri
Date: 07/31/2003
Summary: Great fun.

Hmmm... I wonder why some people are complainig about the CGI's in Hong Kong movies... I think it's great to have all kinds of kong kong movies, not only John Woo stuff or old-school kung-fu...

I think that this movie was really entertaining. It wasn't the Legend of Zu, but it was good enough for me the CGI effects were rather good... well, at least most of the time...

Recommended...

3.5/5 points

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: timktai
Date: 07/29/2003
Summary: A compilation movie, and not a good one

First the bad:

From the opening shot, you can tell this was shot on video, and transferred poorly to film. Computer effects were overused, are already outdated, and don't have enough style to compensate. Awful stereotyped gay guy. An under-talented cast. A romance that doesn't work.

This is also the first movie out of HK that I've been disappointed with the "martial arts". Why the quotes? This movie's thankfully-brief fight scenes are figures flailing in blurry slow motion.

I've seen a lot of compilation movies ("Movies" made up from scenes from a TV series), and Storm Riders has all the hallmarks of one: Editing and pacing problems since the scenes were all shot for hour long episodes. A plot that tries to cover too much ground. Characters seem to have interacted offscreen.

Now the good:

There were lots of things that I'll speculate were taken from the comic: The villain, Hung Ba, the Mud Buddha, and Saint of Swords more than make up for a weak and forgettable set of heroes. Some of the images are powerful: the Graveyard of Swords, an entire city poisoned, the Frost essence from the Ancestor. I actually liked the Dragon.

Overall though, the good isn't enough to outweigh the bad and the massive hype this movie gets for some strange reason. I'd recommend giving this one a pass.


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/25/2003
Summary: EXCELLENT!!

Due to the review below me i had to update my review because it is a chinese comic and NOT a japanese manga this is based on. And currently i am collecting the comics

This is currently my favourite movie!!

I KNOW, first viewing you go, "AH HA..."
But the more you watch it, the better it gets!! I continue to watch it and became drawn into there world!! The more you watch the more you understand the characters and even find out about the little plot twists that you may have missed first time viewing

I guess i love this genre so i am a bit bias to this movie!! Since it is based on a comic, i guess the question would be how similar is it to the movie?

WEll Frost is more than just a minor character and does not have the persona of being less than the main characters. In fact he is there big brother and treated so.

The fathers of the main characters are portrayed differently than the movie. I could go on forever (i got no idea where they got the monk (Roy Cheung) character from!!) so i better stop

While the movie itself could in no way in 2.5 hours entail the whole series which in english is 87 volumnes (each volumne has about 120 pages) i beleive it has done a good job with it's time.

I know this is not the PERFECT movie but the action and general storyline is good enough for me!! The special effects are EXCELLENT!!

This is a like a live action manga coming to life!!

Easily i give this:

9.5/10

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: eson
Date: 02/16/2003
Summary: Um, hello!

Did someone actually say this was based on a manga? I hope you're Japanese, in which case you are just using your native language to say comic book, but Storm Riders is based on a Chinese comic book, not a Japanese manga.

Anyway, most of the fighting in this movie are people waving their arms dramatically with CG that comes gushing out. No actual fighting, some of the effects are kind of cool and very atypical for a Hong Kong movie. Still, when people talk about why they value Hong Kong action movies, it's because of the spectacular human stunts, ranging from kung fu to fighting, NOT CG video game fests.

Still a very enjoyable movie, but let's hope they throw back in some actual fighting and tone back the crazy camera effects and decide to just film two guys wailing on each other.

Generally a good movie to introduce friends to Hong Kong movies, but not very indicicative of what HK movies are.

rating 7.5/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Wu'xiaBadger
Date: 01/17/2003
Summary: Holy Crap

This movie is too fucking cool to write a review for. 10/10

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: Tatus
Date: 06/12/2002
Summary: mmmmmmmm storm

this film is sweet- an exceptional achievment for the east - i think even the west felt some of those effects smash into thier tender areas.
not a martial arts movie in the sense that the fighting is all done through special effects (fire balls and what not) but after watching that tripe "a man called hero" this is just cool as a hong kong cucumber - love it
8/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: ButterflyMurders
Date: 06/11/2002
Summary: The UGH Riders

Firstly, why am I reviewing a film that has been reviewed almost to the death? This will be the 27th time this film has been reviewed. But, after reading so many glowing reviews for this, I really must express how much I DID NOT ENJOY this film!

For me, this was simply an exhibition in eye-candy. Yes, this film looked great.

But this film was missing a few key elements to pivot it from simply being visually pleasing to an entertaining movie. Firstly, it had no human element. Bad characterization, shoddy script. The acting basically amounted to striking dramatic poses and tossing hair into the wind. Secondly, for a supposedly martial arts film, there was NO martial arts. Unless you call jumping around in stunningly drawn backgrounds and waving swords in the air multiple times martial arts. I don't. Am I behind the times when I say I want people to FIGHT in fight scenes?

Groundbreaking? Maybe in a graphical sense, for Hong Kong. But a groundbreaking MOVIE? I don't think so. I don't like my movies being hollow shells. 3/10

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: Kyashan
Date: 06/06/2002

This is first hk movie that I seen and the first about new age martial art, and, like first, is my favourite. It's really a good movie, with special effect very good and a fantastic cast with main actors that show they better arts.

I view this movie for first time in 1999 in original language and english subtitles (thanx to an international festival about asian movies) and I don't understood all, just main plot-story. I watched yesterday evening for my second time with italian dubbing and surely I understood more also if is a bad dubbing. However is always a good movie.

My own ranting 10/10

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: thewarrior1516
Date: 05/27/2002
Summary: excellent movie

Storm rider is a great movie. It has a great story, great characters, great acting and great special effects. Better then hollywood. You can't call this movie a martial arts movie because there is almost no martial arts in it, its all special effects. But it still is a great movie and I think anyone should see it.


Reviewed by: bloody_romeo
Date: 05/25/2002

oh oh,...an ambitious lord trying to to escape Destiny and forms destiny,....
remembers u somehow of Shakespear´s MAcbeth,....but the storyline is poor,...Ekin cheng acts badly,...the film totally depends on good Computer effects which r pretty good,...but lacks good martial arts combats and a good plot,....the plot is so simple even a baby would know how its gonna end...

I guess the manga the film is based on is much better and one shoul read the comic instead of watching the movie.


Reviewed by: Dyogenez
Date: 05/06/2002
Summary: Special effects galore

Even though a lot of reviews have been written, i'll add my opinions on this one..

This was the first HK movie i ever saw. It set a high standard for most movies, mostly in graphics. The special effects and fighting scenes were truely memorable. There isn't much character development on the sides of Cloud, Wind and Frost but that doesn't hinder the story. Although the story is very broad, it comes together at the end. 8.5/10

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Buckeyez
Date: 05/04/2002
Summary: Masterpiece!

This is indeed the best thus far of Wuxia type fantasy martial arts films i've seen, good storyline, beautiful cinematography, colors, and people. Before this movie, Dragon Inn was my #1 (although it had some flaws) but nevertheless "Storm Riders" has all the elements of a masterpiece. If I call this a masterpiece? Yes, it tis.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 03/05/2002
Summary: Good - but lacks a lot

I think it would be pointless for me to write a review on this movie, as so many have done it before. So I will just give my honest opinion.

Firstly, as most people now know, Storm Riders was the first real break through for special effects movies in Hong Kong, at least special effects that look good. Unlike many recent movies, the special effects are not used all over the place just to show off, but to make the scenes look right. This is very well done. There is a very long version available, at almost 2.5 hours, it does get boring. The story is okay, though the main plot is pretty simple. One big problem though, is that the film is packed with stars, which as many movies in the past have proven that it can only make a film worst, because too many people are trying to look good at once. Only a handful of actors actually do any real acting, the rest are just trying to look good on screen. It’s also a shame too that there were several stupid over the top love scenes, and the film could definitely left out some of those scenes to make the film look a little more serious.

I was surprised when I just watched this again recently to find that Lawrence Cheng was in it, the ‘jester’ as he was referred to in the film. He keeps popping up in movies more recently too, though I doubt many people appreciate his comedy abilities.

Still, overall, I would say that it is a good movie, particularly appealing to those who like movies such as Zu etc. Good story, good music (most of it), good acting from some, though others let the film down. Some fight scenes are ridiculous too, and the end is disappointing. But for 1998, it’s certainly not bad all round.

Rating [4/5]

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Blue_Shadow
Date: 01/18/2002
Summary: A Legend Of All Films.......

The Storm Riders no doubt was the best film to come out in 1998 and perhaps one of the best films ever.

It's new idea of introducing special effects into a period drama started a popular trend to follow. Unlike several films with visual effects which followed, The Storm Riders wasn't carried away. The film also had a great cast led by Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng. It offered an exciting and astonishing storyline adapted from a long running comic. Yet, the film only covered one third of the entire comic series.

I definitely recommend this film to anyone who is a fan of the leading stars or someone who enjoys visual effects.

There've been talks on The Storm Riders 2 in 2002 or 2003....Lets just hope it's true and we all don't have to wait too long.......


Reviewed by: 5elementninja
Date: 12/31/2001
Summary: Overrated but still nice

Pure eye-candy with special effects galore. An ambitious martial arts expert bent on world conquest seeks out his fortune from a renown prophet. The prophet tells him of his 10 years of prosperity as a result of 2 of his students, Wind and Cloud but what was his catalyst for success ends up being his catalyst for demise. This movie is overrated by Hong Kong movie fans but still a nice movie.

I felt this movie 99% special effects. The acting wasn't good at all. Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng have absolutely no emotion the entire movie. No REAL fighting skill is exibited here (not like I really expected any) as all the fighting scenes are shrouded by effects. Sonny Chiba plays an outstanding villian however.

[8.0/10]

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: tdmath
Date: 12/16/2001
Summary: Nice, very nice

If only HK movies had Hollywood production values (as in CTHD), this movie would be great. As it is, Storm Riders is still a very satisfying flick, a story of deranged egotism, filial piety, and revenge, with a love triangle, brilliant swordplay, name stars, and fairly decent special effects to boot. Give it 7 stars out of 10.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Souxie
Date: 10/31/2001
Summary: Wow x 1,000

Wow... Loved this movie! The characters all had a purpose (even the normally useless Shu Qi), the destinies really did entwine, the SFX were amazing and the whole film just gelled so well. The epitomy of cool, the strong but silent good looker, was played by my personal fave Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing, and the quiet thinking-woman's crumpet by Cheng Yi-Kin. What a combination... add Sonny Chiba and a whole host of perfectly-cast faces and you have a modern classic that just will not age. I saw the 130 minute "directors cut", and wow did those minutes fly by. This is a classic I'll reserve for those special evenings when I have 2 and half hours to spare, a film you can't dip in and out of just to re-watch the FX, a film that demands you watch it all and pay very, very close attention (and not just to Aaron Kwok's wet leather trousers, although it was hard not to :) )

See it if you haven't already. You'll believe what all the fuss is about.

10/10!!

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: runo_jp
Date: 06/15/2001
Summary: storm riders

I kind of enjoyed that one, despite plot holes, inconsistencies, and the actors. Aaron Kwok proves again he can’t act, and Ekin Cheng seems to constantly wonder what he is doing here.
Empty story = blockbuster (?)


Reviewed by: Rab99bit
Date: 05/30/2001
Summary: A Chinese Movie classic of the 20th Century

I first saw it on the big screen 2 years ago. The scene that stuck in my memory was the forest fight between Conqueror and Wind's father (played by Alex Fong - with his facial expressions, grimaces & eye movements)and his ultimate consumation by the fiery monster.
I watched it on TV again this year. The special effects are not so impressive but still it's a great movie. Though Wind & Cloud are played by relatively inexperienced actors (Ekin Cheng - bland & wooden! & Aaron Kwok - sulking all the time !, respectively), the supporting cast are good enough to make this movie memorable.
This is not the typical kung fu movie. Most of the action shots are computer altered, blurred or speeded up to prevent accurate analysis of who is hitting who where. But the special effects are .... special!
The other reviewers have written quite a bit on the plot and have almost given the storyline away. So, if you haven't seen the movie yet, read no further and see it for yourself!


Reviewed by: natty
Date: 05/11/2001
Summary: Great special effects

This is a cool movie but i don't know how describe it. Any way i have watched this movie both in English and chinese versions,and as always be wary , the English version got so many scenes missing so its better watching it in its original version. Hope you are a fan of flying people. Best of all the movie got some great special effects but you got to follow the story though.over all its a good movie.


Reviewed by: AgntFenris
Date: 05/05/2001
Summary: Not for the HK purist

Maybe it doesn't have the martial arts of the HK movies of yore, but this is a damn cool, and breathtaking movie. Visual effects melding with the action in a way you only wish it was done in Mortal Kombat. Absoultely a must see movie!
3.5/4

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: chiba1030
Date: 04/16/2001
Summary: Check your brain at the door and enjoy the ride!

Been waiting to see this one for a long time and in most respects, was not let down. The Storm Riders exploits CGI to every excess imagineable and it all looks fantastic- a truly groundbreaking effort in HK cinema.

While the eye candy will literally blow you away when viewed from a chronologically respectful standpoint, it is also the film's greatest weakness. Unfortunately, with all the hyper-kinetic, CGI-assisted MA and weopon-based battles, none of the performers were really able to strut their stuff (Chiba in particular- he's an amazing swordsman, though I know he's beginning to show his age).

Without deliberately undermining the above-average performances of the film's central characters, I was ecstatic to see Sinichi "Sonny" Chiba back on the silver screen!

The plot takes backstage to all the on-screen mayhem and supernatural mystique, but who cares?!? It's a trip, an A/V rush and I loved it!

Well worth checking out for Chiba fans and HK action/fantasy fans alike! Just don't go in expecting any Yuen Wo Ping-calibur hand-to-hand choreography ;)

(9/10)

-Chiba1030

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: CountFloyd
Date: 12/31/2000

I just saw The Storm Riders and I came away with mixed feelings. It was great seeing Sonny Chiba sinking his teeth into the meaty role of Lord Conqueror. In fact, he was probably the highlight of the film for me. I was very interested in Shu Qi. Very. I had never seen her before but according to the HKMDB she has been in quite a few films recently. The story was perfect for the Fantasy genre but my qualms were with the action scenes. I felt that Andy Lau's direction was relying to much upon computer generated graphics. So much so that it was hard to see the real action. I love Fantasy but I still want to see good Kung Fu uncluttered by unnecessary fluff. The fight scenes left me uninspired and the wire work seemed rushed.

Count Floyd


Reviewed by: resdog781
Date: 08/24/2000
Summary: A Living Breathing HK Comic....with a few dashes of Anime thrown in

Provided that I've never read the comic version, I don't know what to say about this movie. I wouldn't know how the characters would normally interact with each other, or whether or not the actors got their characters down or whatever beause I've never read the comic.

That said, I thought this was a pretty phatass movie. Taken completely at face level, the story was a little too intricate for my juvenile mind to follow, but the special effects/flying people effects were primo.

I especially loved the swordfighting flashback scenes between Cloud's father and Conquer in the middle of the forest. How much more anime-like can you get? Phatness. By the way, I didn't even know Sonny Chiba was still acting. He's still got it =)

The only thing I really didn't like was Hsu Chi as the annoyingly shrill village girl who saves Cloud. What's up with that girl's voice? Is she trying to draw comedic inspiration from that lady from The Nanny or what? Whatever it is, it's not working.

All in all, a fairly cool movie with lots of action, and very stylish camerawork (especially with the flashbacks, like I said). Turn off your brain and enjoy this one, even if you don't read the comic version.


Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 07/22/2000
Summary: The pain...

Impressive visual effects and nice cinematography can't compensate for:

1) Laughable acting.
2) Numerous extraneous characters.
3) The lack of any compelling story.
4) The sparse fight scenes with virtually no real MA choreography.
4) The long running time.

However, while The Storm Riders is a massive bore, it is somewhat more watchable than the truly inept pseudo-sequel A MAN CALLED HERO. Still, after the novelty of seeing a $10 million HK movie wears off the the first 30 minutes or so, you're left with 100 minutes of agony.

Post-script: It's been six months since I wrote the above review, and well over a year since I saw the film. It's six o'clock in the morning, and I can't sleep because I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HATE THIS MOVIE. The fact that a 130 minute movie could contain so little plot, action, or character development and ACTUALLY BE FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL makes me want to destroy the entire planet. I HATE THIS MOVIE! Andrew Lau, one day I'll come for you.


Reviewed by: Dai Lo
Date: 04/13/2000

A new era is marked with the making of 'storm riders'. Not since Tsui Hark's 'once upon in china' has a movie had such an impact on the audience and the industry. Like the 'Matrix' it sets up a new demension of film making. Our heroes 'cloud' and 'wind' both played by canto-singers Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng play their roles well enough but are clearly outshined by the special effects, perhaps not as good as its american counterparts like 'hercules', but still worthwhile to watch. The costumes and musical score fit the film perfectly, truly comic book cinema at its best.
(by man-kin chan)


Reviewed by: grimes
Date: 04/08/2000

See ...

Dior Cheng's long, flowing hair!

See ...

Aaron Kwok's long, flowing hair!

See ...

Aaron Kwok brood, repeatedly!

See ...

Shu Chi's really long, flowing hair!

See ...

Special effects galore!

Despite the fact that I am making fun of it, I did enjoy The Storm Riders. Sure, there's not much plot, but it was quite
entertaining, on a completely superficial level.

The cast of characters: Sonny Chiba (yes, Sonny Chiba) plays Lord Conquer, the bad guy. He kills the parents of Wind (Dior
Cheng and his hair) and Cloud (Aaron Kwok and his hair) and raises the two boys as his disciples, training them into
bad-ass kung-fu dudes with long, flowing hair (the hair is very important). He has also raised Frost (played by Michael Tse
Tin-Wah, I think), who has much worse hair (not nearly as long or flowing as the other two). His bad hair is an obvious
indication that he is a sidekick, as no main character could possibly have hair like that.

The other important characters include Mad Buddha, a prophet who prophesies Conquer's rise and fall, as well as Jester,
Conquer's queenish servant. Conquer's lovely daughter Charity (with long, flowing hair. Hard to believe, huh?) is played by
Kristy Yeung. There are also two characters introduced later in the story, Hero Yu (played by ?) and his daughter Muse (Shu
Chi in cuteness overdrive mode). Shu Chi probably does the most acting in the film, although that really isn't saying much.
Fortunately the film doesn't demand too much acting (which is good because Dior Cheng can't really do too much acting
from what I've seen, although Aaron Kwok proved himself in Anna Magdalena).

The plot (what there is of it): Basically, Wind, Cloud, and Frost work for Conquer, who wants to conquer everything. Then
Wind and Cloud fight over Charity. Then eventually they unite and fight Conquer. Pretty straightforward.

This movie was touted for its special effects, and it sure does have a lot of them. They seem to primarily consist of computer
generated effects with blue and green screens. It does look good, although some of the effects in the fight scenes turned me
to thoughts of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat (the video games themselves, not the movies).

The Storm Riders is all about good campy Hong Kong style kung fu fun. It's certainly not much of an artistic achievement,
but it does a good job of challenging Hollywood on its sacred ground of special effects heavy action movies. Personally, I
preferred The Storm Riders to any Schwarzenneger explosion extravaganza. I would love to see it on screen, because I don't
think my TV did the effects justice. This may not ever happen, because apparently Miramax is considering buying the
American rights to the film (or already has bought them). Miramax owns quite a number of Hong Kong films which it has yet
to release in the theatres. And if they did, it would probably be dubbed (ugh!).


Reviewed by: Mark
Date: 12/30/1999
Summary: Hyper-kinetic state-of-the-art fantasy

The Storm Riders is like nothing you have ever seen. It's a hyper-kinetic Hong Kong action fantasy movie with state-of-the-art digital effects. It's caffeine on celluloid. If video games had real people, they would look like this. Everything is sped up. Director Andrew Lau tilts, whirls and zooms the fight scenes. Warriors don't strike with one fist, but with a hundred. Flying combatants hurl bolts of fire, or whirling chunks of earth, or freeze their opponents with their special Frost Palm attack. They duel in waterfalls, atop stone idols or deep underground.

There's even a plot, and a pretty good one as far as fantasy films go, played out with conviction by the all-star cast. Bearded warlord Conquer (Sonny Chiba) is told that if he can locate and train two boys with particular star charts then his Conqueror Clan will be invincible for ten years. Obviously a man who knows a favourable prophecy when he hears one, Conquer finds the two lads, but is obliged to get violent when their parents prove old-fashioned about forking over their sole heirs. Conquer brings them up as his own, along with his legitimate son Frost and daughter Charity. Ten years pass, and our two orphans are mighty warriors. Wind (Ekin Cheng) is obedient but Cloud (Aaron Kwok) is a bit of a brooder, especially when Conquer announces the marriage of Charity (Kristy Yeung) to Wind. Nothing causes a war in the world of martial arts like a love triangle and, before you can say "Whirling Water Attack", Cloud is storming the wedding to steal the bride. It's grand escapism adapted from a popular Hong Kong comic book series by Ma Wing-shing.

The film has a couple of problems. The voices are a fraction out of sync at times. Furthermore, if you don't speak Cantonese, be prepared to read subtitles; although they're mighty legible, you'll occasionally be torn between eyeballing the gorgeous visuals and keeping up with the story (my solution: see it twice!). Strict martial arts fans will be disappointed that the usually incredible choreography of Hong Kong films has been largely replaced by computer graphics and blurred motion. Most regrettably, the female characters are the old archetypes of princess, pregnant wife, scheming wife et cetera, ignoring the proud lineage of capable kick-ass Hong Kong action heroines. Only Hsu Chi is able to make something of her role as Muse, a backwoods healer who is eager to see the world but not quite up on social graces.

But, those points aside, this is still jaw-dropping entertainment. If you enjoy a special-effects fantasy movie and have a penchant for a hero with blue hair, you'll love it. "Wind is formless. Cloud is unpredictable." And this movie rips. Go see it.


Reviewed by: SUPERCOP
Date: 12/27/1999
Summary: A visual triumph....

Based on a best selling comic, this big budget, special effects laden production features a cast of all stars and was helmed by premiere filmmaker Andrew Lau Wai-keung. Pop singers Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng star as the title characters Wind and Cloud, brought together to bring down the evil Lord Conqueror, played by Japanese cinema legend Sonny Chiba. Despite the presence of big name actors and actresses, the real star of this film are the special effects by Centro, which set new standards for the future of Hong Kong Cinema. That, along with a keen visual flair by former cinematographer Andrew Lau Wai-keung, makes the Storm Riders a worthwhile film worth the rent.


Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 10/25/1999
Summary: The Storm Riders (1998)

The grand opening date for 'The Storm Riders' has been delayed from time to time. First, it was expected to be showing during X'Mas 97' and then Chinese New Year, Easter and today! One explanation for the delay is that they would like to put more
efforts in visual effects. With the delays and the poor industry environment during the past few months, audience in Hong Kong are highly expecting for the movie. They even regard 'The Storm Riders' as 'the hope of Hong Kong Movies this summer'.
This gives the production crew lots of pressure as they cannot fail.

The story of 'The Storm Riders' comes from one of the popular local comic series -- 'The Storm Riders' by MA Wing-shing. The movie adopted the first part of the story -- 10 years ago, Conqueror (SONNY Chiba) knew that he will take two child, Wind
(Ekin CHENG) and Cloud (Aaron KWOK) as his student from Bud Buddha (LAI Yiu-cheung) and they can helped him for expansion of his Empire. He put this in reality by killing the parents of Wind and Cloud. After 10 years, Conqueror knew that Wind and Cloud can become his competitor and the triangle relationship between his daughter Charity (Christy YEUNG), Wind and Cloud seems can balance the situation. However, when everyone know the truth,.......

One of the important points for 'The Storm Riders' is that this movie gives a new vision for Swordplay movie. The new vision comes from Cinematography and Visual Effects. In Cinematography, Andrew LAU has put a new angle for filming action scenes
. The use or red lens, black and white as well as skipping makes the scenes interesting and reduces the violences from the original scene. In terms of visual effects, though I cannot say the effects are perfect, but most of the scenes are above standard.

Since I haven't read the original comic series before watching the movie, I cannot comment whether the series has been adopted proberly or not. But what I would like to say that Manfred WONG has written the script in a thorough way. The story track is dev
eloped by the lines of Wind and Cloud and the switch is quite natural. Manfred also knows when to put the romantic scene to make the movie more entertaining. Most of them really works!

One point you may be interested is that if you have seen 'Young and Dangerous' series with scriptwriter Manfred WONG, you will get back the feel of 'Young and Dangerous' in the movie 'The Storm Riders'.

In terms of casting, 'Storm Riders' has got a cast choice for Wind, Cloud, Charity and Conqueror. In terms of performance, I think most casts give their best. Aaron KWOK and HSU Chi is a bit outstanding. Aaron KWOK is outstanding as there are more fluctuations for his cast while the character for HSU Chi is very cute. In my opinion, it would be better if there are more scenes for Christy YEUNG.

Another issue I would like to raise is that 'The Storm Riders' has got a very good production in every part, including the soundtrack and costumes. This makes the whole movie more sharping.

On the whole, due to lots of reasons, 'The Storm Riders' has been highly expected by audience. Luckily, it is a movie that is worth-expecting. This should be one of the best Hong Kong Movie of the year. It is unmissable!