The Emperor and the Assassin (1998)
Reviewed by: pjshimmer on 2003-05-09
Summary: Magnificent theatrical wonder
Frankly, I hated this movie when I first saw it a few years ago. Back then (when I was still in my teens), I detested the dramatic acting. As you may guess, my view on Mainland drama has since turned 360 degrees around, thanks to inspiring pictures like "In the Heat of the Sun" (a must see).

Everything you love about Mainland movies is here. The story tells of the conquering journey that Ying Zheng embarks on to lose his loved ones, including his mother, father, and wife. It shows once again that great men must sacrifice happiness for achievement.

This movie often rivals Akira Kurosawa's "Ran" as the greatest period war movie. While I thoroughly enjoyed "Ran," I am partial to "Emperor" for its less overly dramatic moments. "Ran" and most Kurosawa movies cross the line of dramatic acting, where characters exhibit a lifetime shock every few minutes.

At a length of 160 minutes, "Emperor" is worth every second.