Among the best movies I've ever seen Jet Li star in, this is an unforgiving portrayal of the brutality of war, and the horrid politics surrounding it. I was amazed by some of the action, the highlight being the cannon-hit-cannon moment, something I have never seen in any movie. The movie itself was quite a surprise hit for me, for I never even heard of it before, so I expected some passive actioner.

A revisit wasn't as impressive, and in fact I found myself rather impatient when it would end, and there isn't great pleasure in the sadness, and maybe also because I tend to look for an ideally good character, instead of the lead character that Jet Li portrays, perhaps the most complex he has done yet, more complete he has ever done (sometimes he's kind and sometimes not).

One bad casting choice was Takeshi Kaneshiro, who plays one of the three leaders and a narrator. He's just not convincing in the role, or maybe he's just not a good enough actor.