Warriors of Future (2022)
Director: Yuen Fai Ng
Cast: Louis Koo, Sean Lau, Carina Lau, Nick Cheung, Kwan-ho Tse, Guopeng Wan, Philip Keung, Janice Wu
A meteorite brings an extraterrestrial life to the earth. When powerful alien creatures threaten humanity, Commander Sing Lee’s elite forces are almost wiped out, and the surviving soldier Tai Loi discovers an even bigger conspiracy. – IMDB
Originally set for the late Benny Chan to direct, Warriors of Future is the directorial debut of visual effects artist Yuen Fai Ng who has been part of some very successful Hong Kong films. Produced by Louis Koo and funded by his company, he also takes on one of the leading roles as Tai Loi and gathers up an impressive cast both from Hong Kong and China. Warriors of Future is also one of the first (if not the actual first) “hard sci-fi” film from Hong Kong which uses their own CGI technology. Its a groundbreaking film for the Hong Kong film industry.
There really isn’t anything in terms of visuals that can hinder Warriors of Future. Sure, you can see a bunch of sci-fi and post-apocalypse film inspirations as well as the action and sequences also having some superhero films inspiration. Its never an actual fault to pay homage to films that helped inspire a passion project especially as a debut project for a production company. The visuals for the most part flow really well and there are some fantastic world building and enemy design here. It is no doubt an impressive film on the visual front and it probably has its director and his background to thank for that.
Looking at the story, it does feel a tad more empty. While none of the characters get fleshed out too much, the film never seems to rely too much on needing to know more than what info they provided. The film is about its sci-fi and its task at hand: the countdown before the horrible Plan B takes effect. This film is meant to be a gripping action-packed fun time and it delivers on that. Some elements probably didn’t need to be there like meeting the little girl (Aliens inspiration perhaps?) but its meant to add to the story emotionally, albeit a tad emotionally manipulating. Where this film might have more script problems is that it is very by the books and predictable. Nothing truly happens that feels like a surprise.
What does bring the film together other than some cool alien creature design and a very nicely done for dilapidated Hong Kong plus some great action bits, its the incredible cast. Thats whats great about having the resources to get the cast to fit the right roles and this film is stacked from Louis Koo, Sean Lau and Philip Keung as good friends with the latter having a falling out which made some fun bickering, along with a guest appearance with Nick Cheung as the commander in chief and Carina Lau as the colonel who is giving all the final orders and decisions for the mission plus Kwan-ho Tse as the scientist. Everyone delivers some great performances and lifts up the story even if it has its flaws.
Overall, Warriors of Future is a groundbreaking moment for Hong Kong cinema in general. It might not have enough backstory for character depth and the script has its flaws with lack of surprise, but the cast, the world building, visuals and CGI and the action especially with the exoskeletons which almost feels like watching someone play a video game all more than makes up for it by creating a fun fast-paced entertaining film experience.