Call of Heroes
|Call of Heroes|
Official film poster
|Directed by||Benny Chan|
|Produced by||Benny Chan|
|Music by||Wong Kin-wai|
|Edited by||Yau Chi-wai|
|Distributed by||Universe Films Distribution|
|Box office||CN¥167.4 million (China) / (US$24.6 million)|
Call of Heroes, previously known as The Deadly Reclaim, is a 2016 Hong Kong-Chinese action film produced and directed by Benny Chan, with action direction by Sammo Hung, and starring Sean Lau, Louis Koo, Eddie Peng, Yuan Quan, Jiang Shuying, with a special appearance by Wu Jing.
China has devolved into a patchwork of competing military governates following the dissolution of the Qing Dynasty. As Marshal Cho, the son of a military governor, wanders around the area of Shitoucheng indiscriminately killing and robbing from civilians, a school-teacher named Ms Pak flees with her students, and along with other refugees are admitted into Pucheng, which belongs to another governor. Since the soldiers of Pucheng are away on a campaign, authority falls to Colonel Yeung, leader of the militia. A few days later, Cho, who derives pleasure from random killings, enters Pucheng alone and murders Pak, her cousin, and one of her students. He is quickly arrested and sentenced to death, but his father's soldiers arrive and demand his release. When Yeung refuses to give in, and threatens to kill Cho on the spot, the soldiers declare that Yeung must release Cho in the morning, or else the entire town will be killed.
Two of the soldiers' commanders worry about Cho, and attempt to lead a squad in a rescue mission at night, to attack the prison and set Cho free, but the militia members successfully repel them. The richest man in town, Mr Liu, who recently hired private security guards, sends them to murder Yeung and his best friend, so he can take control of the town and set Cho free. While Yeung's friend is killed, Yeung manages to defeat Liu's men. When Yeung tries to arrest Liu, the entire town protests and pleads with Yeung to liberate Cho, and thereby spare the town from massacre. Yeung does not wish to comply, and resigns instead, and disbands the militia. However, in the morning, when Cho's soldiers arrive and free him, they begin plundering the entire town and killing civilians indiscriminately. Yeung, his wife, and his few remaining followers fight back by bombing the soldiers' camp, setting traps within the town, and arming the surviving townsfolk so they can retaliate. In the end, Cho is killed, and when his father leads the main army in a revenge mission against Pucheng, it happens that Pucheng's own army returns and defeats Cho's father in a pitched field battle. Cho's father personally dies. Law and order is restored for a time, while the film goes on to question the privileges of the upper class and the true nature of justice even today.
- Sean Lau as Yeung Hak-nan (楊克難)
- Louis Koo as Cho Siu-lun (曹少璘)
- Eddie Peng as Ma Fung (馬鋒)
- Yuan Quan as Chow So-so (周素素)
- Jiang Shuying as Pak Ling (白玲)
- Wu Jing as Cheung Yik (張亦)
- Liu Kai-chi as Tither Liu (廖甲長)
- Berg Ng as Shum Ting (沈淀)
- Sammy Hung as Cheung Mo (張武)
- Philip Keung as Lee Tit-ngau (李鐵牛)
- Xing Yu as Wong Wai-fu (王威虎)
- Sammo Hung as General on horse (uncredited cameo)
The project, budgeted at US$32 million, was first announced at the 2015 Hong Kong Filmart, which took place in March 2015, under the title The Deadly Reclaim, and was scheduled to start production in April and be released at the end of the year. Production began in June 2015 where on the 17th of the same month, a press conference was held on the film's outdoor set at the Keyan Scenic Area in Shaoxing, Zhejiang, China, where producer and director Benny Chan, action director Sammo Hung and cast members Sean Lau, Louis Koo, Eddie Peng, Yuan Quan, Jiang Shuying, Liu Kai-chi, Wu Jing, Philip Keung and Sammy Hung were present. The set took over four months to build. Sean Lau, who has not filmed a martial arts film in 20 years, was trained to use a whip to prepare his role as a guardian leader of Pucheng village. Louis Koo will portray the film's main villain, a ruthless warlord, while Eddie Peng will portray wanderer. On 19 June, the film's production company and distributor Universe Entertainment released a teaser trailer featuring behind the scenes footage and displaying a slated release date of 2016. Universe Entertainment released a second teaser trailer on 15 March 2016 under a new title, Call of Heroes.
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