Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 15th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong / China, 2017
Director: Gordon Chan
Writers: Frankie Tam, Maria Wong, MengZhang Wu
Cast: Wenzhuo Zhao, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Yasuaki Kurata, Regina Wan, Keisuke Koide, Timmy Hung, Ryu Kohata, Junxiao Liu, Michael Tong, Ban Wang, Yue Wu
BluRay released: October 17th, 2017
Approximate running time: 129 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A / Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
“During the 16th century, pirates rule the Chinese coastline, pillaging the small villages and terrorizing the citizens. When maverick leader Commander Yu enlists the help of a sharp young general, they devise a plan to defeat the pirates.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
God of War was directed by Gordon Chan whose other notable films include, Fight Back to School, Fight Back to School II and Fist of the Legend. The score for God of War was composed by Shigeru Umebayashi whose other notable scores include, In the Mood for Love, House of Flying Daggers, 2046 and Nightfall.
Modern Chinese cinema has seen a flux of historical themed films. And though the names may change, the end result are films that follow a formulaic structure that has become all too familiar. Case in point God of War, a film that features all the aforementioned trappings.
With that being said, there are few things that this film does really well and it is because of these things that this film manages to remain engaging throughout. And nowhere is more evident, than how this film perfectly balances it more melodramatic moments with its action set pieces.
Another strength of this film are the performances. With this films standout performance being Yasuaki Kurata (Dragon Princess, The Seventh Curse) in the role of a Japanese commander named Kumasawa. Other performance of note includes, Regina Wan in the role of Lady Qi, the with the general who is given the task of expelling the pirate invaders from Japan and Sammo Kam-Bo Hung (Magnificent Butcher, Eastern Condors) in the role of General Yu Dayou.
As mentioned before, this film is at its best when it comes to its action set pieces. With its most memorable action set pieces opening and closing the film. The film’s opening action set piece does a superb job setting the foundation for how formidable the Japanese pirates are. And the film’s finale is an equaling grueling action set piece that has a very satisfying conclusion to the events that have just unfolded.
God of War comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, details look sharp and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Mandarin. Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. Range wise the more ambient aspects are well represented and both audio mixes sound robust when they need too. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release are limited to a slip cover, a trailer for the film and very brief clip that is titled ‘Making of’. Other extras include trailers for Wolf Warrior, The Final Master and Operation Mekong.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall God of War gets a solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.