Main cast: Aaron Kwok (Cloud), Ekin Cheng (Wind), Kenny Ho (Lord Nameless), Nicholas Tse (Heart), Charlene Choi (Second Dream), Tang Yan (Chu Chu), Patrick Tam (the Emperor), Kenny Wong (Lord Wicked), and Simon Yam (Lord Godless)
Directors: Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang
I confess that I have not watched a Chinese movie in a long time because I’ve given up on movies from that part of the world. There are so many consecutively bad movies from that part of the world that I can take without being completely disenchanted with the industry, after all. Also, I did not bother with The Storm Riders back in 1998. However, I find that I can easily understand this movie despite not having watched the first installment of the trilogy. Perhaps this is because nothing of note happens in this movie.
Okay, from what I gather, Cloud and Wind are two emo swordsmen of certain prowess. In this movie, however, Lord Godless from Japan is kicking everyone’s rear end as he has kidnapped the Emperor of China and is poised to laugh maniacally all the way to full conquest of China. We can’t have that, of course. The two swordsmen’s master, Lord Nameless, realizes that the fastest way to defeat Lord Godless is by mastering that foul fiend’s own evil skills and defeating him with those skills. Lord Wicked knows those skills, so it is decided that Wind will spend time as his apprentice to master those skills. Meanwhile, Cloud continues to train under Lord Nameless. Alas, their plan hits a snag when Wind becomes Bad Wind (haw, haw) as a result of his newly learned skills and Cloud has to defeat his former comrade. Oh, and there are two poor women who are supposed to be their girlfriends, shoved to the sideline but never too much out of the movie – we don’t want people to think that Cloud and Wind are gay for one another, after all.
Simon Yam is… Simon Yam. He’s the Billy Zane of the Chinese movie industry, hamming everything up joyfully because he’s just so happy to be getting a paycheck. Meanwhile, Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng spend what seems like nine-tenths of the movie staring in brooding intensity either at each other or at the camera. Who cares about actual fighting when it’s more pretty to stare at each other on a picturesque mountain ledge for two hours? The script is threadbare as the entire movie is filled with laughably fake choreography of the sort you have seen a million times since some tiger crouched on a dragon, when the two lead actors are not staring at the camera as the wind machine causes their hair to billow artfully like a climatic moment in an expensive shampoo commercial. The dialogues are pure ham, the source of plenty of unintentional comedy. If you want to play a drinking game, take a chug every time the movie interrupts a navel-gazing contest between the lead characters by having some lackey run in and announce that Lord So-and-So has been spotted somewhere off-stage followed by everyone rushing off to that location in question to resume their artful posing.
The Storm Warriors isn’t a movie. It’s a tedious and overly long hollow montage of pointless scenes of two pretty boys trying their best to look brooding and sultry when the wind machine is switched on.