A Battle of Wits (2006 film)
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia. (December 2011)|
|A Battle of Wits|
|Directed by||Jacob Cheung|
|Produced by||Jacob Cheung
|Written by||Jacob Cheung
Ken'ichi Sakemi (novel)
Hideki Mori (manga)
|Music by||Kenji Kawai|
|Editing by||Kwong Chi-leung|
|Studio||China Film Co-Production Corp.
Hark & Co.
Sundream Motion Pictures Ltd.
Huayi Brothers Pictures Co., Ltd.
|Distributed by||Sundream Motion Pictures
|Running time||133 minutes|
A Battle of Wits, also known as Battle of the Warriors, is a 2006 Chinese-Hong Kong film based on a Japanese historical novel (Rōmaji title: Bokkō or Bokukō; literally: "Mohist Attack") written by Ken'ichi Sakemi, as well as the manga series Bokko written by Hideki Mori. Directed by Jacob Cheung, the film starred Andy Lau, Ahn Sung-ki, Wang Zhiwen, Fan Bingbing, Nicky Wu and Choi Siwon. This is a joint-production between China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.
The film is set in 370 BC China during the Warring States period. The Zhao state invades the city-state of Liang. Ge Li, a Mohist, comes to Liang to help defend the city, without permission from the Mohist leaders. The king of Liang had planned for peace talks with the invaders but Ge Li looses an arrow, modified so as to double its range, promising the invaders a battle. Rallying the city, he warns the people of Liang of the dangers of surrendering to the invading Zhao army and promised the king that the invaders would give up on Liang if they failed to take the city within a month, because their main target is the Kingdom of Yan. The king of Liang is worried about Ge Li inciting war amongst his people, but eventually decides to allow Ge to temporarily aid in defending Liang.
Ge Li creates a bulwark and various traps to halt the Zhao army's advance. Ge Li's insistence that Zituan leads the archers angers the prince initially, as the prince sees Zituan's archery skill as inferior. Although Zituan proves his ability later, Ge Li's style of working continues to irritate the prince and generals.
During the first Zhao attack, the tactics employed by Ge Li worked perfectly, causing the death of an enemy general and forcing the Zhao attackers to retreat, despite a skirmish inside the city by Zhao infiltrators. After Ge successfully defends Liang from the enemy, superior in numbers, he becomes a highly-revered hero by the local populace.
During the night, Ge Li and Yiyue scout the Zhao army and discover that they are planning to dig a tunnel in order to bypass the defense. Rather than blocking the tunnel exits, Ge Li baits a number of Zhao forces to exit before springing the ambush and sealing the tunnel. Although general Niu promised to spare their lives if they would drop their arms, he goes back on his word and massacres the unarmed Zhao soldiers, much to the disgust of the prince.
The king of Liang feels threatened when he sees Ge Li's growing popularity, so he plots to have Ge stripped off his military power and executed on false charges. Ge has just returned from a scouting mission when he is accused of starting a war under false pretenses at the gates of Liang. The prince pretends to fight with Ge Li and secretly asks Ge to take him hostage in order to buy time for Ge to escape. Ironically, the improved arrows that Ge used to defend Liang were used against him. Ge manages to leave unharmed, but the prince is tragically killed by the arrows. Although heartbroken, the king would execute general Niu 100 days later for killing his only son as he badly needed him for Liang's defenses. Meanwhile, Ge Li's supporters are falsely accused of plotting a rebellion against the king of Liang and they are tortured and executed.
The king of Liang foolishly believes that the Zhao army has left but he is caught off guard by the Zhao forces in a surprise attack. Ge Li returns with a surviving group of Liang soldiers to save the city. The Zhao general engages Ge Li in a duel inside a tower as revenge for his previous defeats at Ge's hands. Alone in the tower, the Zhao general urges Ge Li to give up his life but Ge already has a plan underway. His men ambushes the Zhao soldiers and have them surrounded. Sensing that his third defeat is imminent, the Zhao general loses confidence. Ge Li urges the Zhao general to lead his men out of Liang but the latter refuses, stating that only the victorious can leave the tower alive. After the Zhao forces had retreated, the king of Liang sees the Zhao general alone in the tower and orders the execution, much to the joy of him and his people.
After the conflict, Ge leaves with some orphans from Liang to promote peace among the various warring states. The king of Liang is killed five years later and eventually the Qin state will conquer all the other states and unite China under the Qin Dynasty.
- Andy Lau as Ge Li
- Fan Bingbing as Yiyue
- Wang Zhiwen as King of Liang
- Ahn Sung-ki as Gang Yanzhong
- Nicky Wu as Zituan
- Choi Siwon as Liang Shi
- Lin Yongjian as Cai Qiu
- Yu Chenghui as East Marquis
- Chin Siu-ho as Niu Zizhang
- Wu Ma as Royal Tutor
- Xu Xiangdong as Weixiang
- Hung Tin-chiu as Gao Heyong
- Wang Ziye as Xiaoxiao
- Yang Lixiao as Xiaoxiao's sister
- Zhang Zhe as guard
- Wang Shuangbao as Li Shu
- Ye Hua as Li Shu's wife
- Zhou Bo as Gu Jun
- Fang Jingru as Gu Jun's wife
- Zhang Li as Pu Le
- Zhao Fuli as Pu Le's wife
- Xie Bing as assassin
- Gao Shan as Yuan Yu
- Zhou Bin as blacksmith
- Zhang Jian as blacksmith's wife
- Wang Bing as Qi general
- Ka Li as tunnel attack general
- Zhang Weidong as Niu Zizhang's subordinate
- Tao Hai as Zituan's subordinate
- Liu Sining as Zituan's subordinate
- Yifei as Liang Shi's subordinate
- He Qingfeng as Yiyue's subordinate
- Wu Zhen as Zhao general
- Joe Tsang as Zhao general
- "A Battle of Wits" Boxofficemojo. Retrieved 2012-06-04
- Elley, Derek (2007-01-05). "Variety Reviews - A Battle of Wits - Film Reviews - New Int'l. Release - Review by Derek Elley". Variety.com. Retrieved 2012-11-28.