Noob Reviews: Dynasty Warriors
Updated: Jul 22
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Dynasty Warriors?
Based on the hugely popular video game series of the same name, Dynasty Warriors is the recently released Netflix film (that came out in the last few weeks) - that is both directed and produced by Roy Chow. This action-adventure film takes part in one of the most challenging times of the Eastern Han Dynasty, where ruthless Dong Zhuo has dethroned the rightful heir and taken control of their lands as his own. Luckily though, it is not long before heroes from across the kingdom begin to emerge and come together to form a rebellion that seeks to remove the tyrant and restore the rightful heir to their throne.
What type of genre is the film?
Dynasty Warriors falls nicely into the action-adventure and fantasy genres.
What age rating is Dynasty Warriors?
Dynasty Warriors has an age rating of 15.
How long is Dynasty Warriors?
Dynasty Warriors has a runtime of two hours.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Netflix Asia’s YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can also find Dynasty Warriors on Netflix here.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a complete cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think about Dynasty Warriors?
When first seeing the trailer for Dynasty Warriors, it immediately gave off some thrilling vibes as the fight scenes look fantastic. There looked to be a great use of special effects. And I thought the metal soundtrack really fit well with the scenes it was showing - unfortunately, the film itself failed to deliver.
Some of the things I really like about Dynasty Warriors were the old school presentation in which the film is delivered, which made me think of Samurai Wolf from 1966 or the original Monkey King. And the outdoor scenes where many of the sequences are shot were beautiful and well-chosen. Unfortunately, these things are quickly ruined by the overuse of special effects that really do seem out of place in the film. And many indoor backdrops are so obviously man-made that they just stick out like a sore thumb and really ruin any sense of immersion.
As I mentioned above, another thing that looked fantastic in the trailer were the fight scenes, but these are too few and far between. When they do unfold, they are so heavily edited to include special effects instead of legitimate choreographed fights that they soon become dull and tiresome, and you rarely actually get to see any combat. Admittedly, although wildly unbelievable, there are a few terrific scenes that add a little bit of fun, such as a horseback pursuit between two warriors across rooftops. But as with the fight scenes, they are usually over just as quickly as they had begun.
To say Dynasty Warriors is meant to be an accompanying film to a hugely popular franchise, it is a real shame how it turned out, as it skims over the vast wealth of lore that is available from the games. True, there are characters and weapons from the games, and their design looks like an accurate recreation. But they have no personality or actual screen presence. The lore is followed minimally at best, and there is no real story to speak off. Everything is so fractured and hard to follow that personally, by the time I had figured out what was going on - it wasn’t even worth the work. The reason things were so hard to follow was that there were no answers given or in-depth information provided to add context to events or meetings with new characters. The film pulls itself back and forth between the franchise, a historical action epic and a 16th-century drama. And it just spreads itself too thin in all areas to even be a half-decent reflection of what the creators were trying to accomplish.
When it comes to acting, unfortunately, the acting is very sub-par as well, with lines either delivered over the top or without any real sense of conviction - almost as if the actors and actresses were working to polar opposites. Their screen presence felt very low energy for the most part. And whenever an event began to build up and look like it was going to lead to something meaningful, it just tailed off and lost its pace.
Overall, Dynasty Warriors ended in a manner that suggested it will be the first in a series of films, but I won’t be returning to watch any more titles if they do. Although it had so much promise, a colossal fanbase because of the games and a trove of knowledge and lore it could pull from - Dynasty Warriors just fell flat. I usually love my early era Eastern films and have watched many movies from The Last Samurai to Lone Wolf and Cub and Shogun Assassin. Compared to them, though, Dynasty Warriors just felt so awkward and out of place. It would have been better off as a multiple part mini-series as opposed to a fully-fledged film.
What rating would you give Dynasty Warriors?
I would rate Dynasty Warriors as a 2 out of 5 bananas as I feel the original 1 banana I was going to provide as the rating feels too harsh. But in all honesty, the film definitely does not rank any higher for me than that.
I went into Dynasty Warriors wanting to love it as I had loved the games so much, but from a fanboy point of view felt the film did not do the games justice. And from a film fan point of view, I felt the film was just a mess. It took on way too much and had very little structure.
With more consistency, increased quality on the acting front and more attention to the more minor details, this could have been a fantastic film. But alas, as it stands, it is just another Netflix flop that I would say to avoid unless your curiosity is piqued enough to bite the bullet and give it a looksie yourself.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in Dynasty Warriors and would like to check it out yourself, to form your own opinion, you can find it on Netflix here.