Yo Ho, WeRCatz here!
Dynasty Warriors was released on April 29, 2021, in Hong Kong and on April 30 in China. Netflix bought the global distribution rights in a crazy deal and released it on July 1.
If you are a fan of the Dynasty Warriors video game franchise, then the plot follows the same events in Chinese history via the historical novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms attributed by 14th century Ming author Luo Guanzhong. The Yellow Turban Rebellion wreaks havoc on the decaying Han Dynasty and several warlords fight to preserve the Han. The focus here is the budding rivalry between Liu Bei (portrayed by Tony Yang) and Cao Cao (portrayed by Wang Kai). The film then jumps from 189 BCE to 190 BCE when the coalition against the tyrant Don Zhuo began; the famed-and-feared Lü Bu begins his terror on the coalition’s troops.
The film ends with the aftermath of the razing of the capital Luoyang: Sun Jian finds the Imperial Seal and heads back to his home province, Yuan Shao consolidates his power in the north and Cao Cao amicably warns Liu Bei of their roles as heroes before planning his next move; Liu Bei then realizes his struggles for peace will begin…
If you are not a fan of the Dynasty Warriors game franchise, then you will not only be confused with the history of the settings. For a period of chaos, time moves very quickly. Certain key parts, historical or fictional, are left out and certain figures are not labeled properly. The plot is slow to catch up with the action. I felt as if the reverse of a Dynasty Warriors is going on: more talking and less action.
But there is some good with the film. The action scenes are almost exactly like in the games. The music from the game perfectly complements the action. It almost resembles the classic Wuxia films made famous by Shaw Brothers.
I would say that if you are not a fan of the game series, Dynasty Warriors may not be for you. I thought it was ok but for like a few more viewings. The ending of this film may suggest a sequel; I’d guess from Liu Bei’s flight from Cao Cao to the famous Battle of Chi Bi. But I don’t think that may happen unless there’s more support.