Plot-This film tells a 2 plus hour tale about the brotherhood and rivalry between two notable military strategists during China’s Warring States Period. Through the course of the film, you know that the two will eventually meet on the battlefield as corruption and politics divide the land. Where is Margaret Cho when we need her?
Review-This film even though it runs for over 2 hours just felt incomplete to me. Like you know there is something missing in the film but cannot seem to put your finger on it. States in a nutshell is basically the story of 2 step brothers, Sun Bin and Pang Juan . Sun Bin horribly overacts and Pang horribly is under used. Sun Bin is a descendant of Sun Tzu, the famous military strategist, and it’s believed that Sun possesses the tactics to defeat any enemy on the field of battle. And as this film would have it, the two of them end up as military advisors for warring nations. Pang eventually captures and tortures Sun, hoping to uncover the secrets of military strategy and all that fun stuff.. but, before Sun will confess, he’s rescued by his people of Qi, and the two men are put on a dangerous collision course leading their respective armies in a battle whose outcome will shape centuries and civilization to come. This just felt like a incomplete mini series that felt like maybe 3 to 4 more hours were needed. That any character build up the film had, felt so rushed and almost to the point so confusingly amusing for a serious film.
The characters in the film were so unimportant that it did not really matter, who won or loss..cause the film hammered its historical background so much..that you almost just want to say..” ok I know this is supposedly based on history but why keep on harping on it”. It was like every character had to remind us in almost a way that you felt they thought the viewers were stupid and dumb. The war and battle scenes were wonderfully shot and almost had a video game feel to them. The costumes were very well done, so was the production of the film, the soundtrack was very good..and even the locations and attention to detail was well done. For me, it just felt like it was 2/4 complete and The Warring States blu ray may be like 7 hours long. And a perfect film.
4 out of 10