Warriors of Future (2022) poster

Warriors of Future (2022)


(Ming Yat Zin Gei)

Hong Kong. 2022.


Director – Ng Yuen Fai, Screenplay – Lau Ho Leung & Mak Tin Shu, Producer – Louis Koo, Photography – Ng Kai Ming, Music – Chan Kwong Wing, Visual Effects Supervisors – Chas Chau Chi Shing, Kwok Tai & Leung Wait Kit, Visual Effects – Big Picture Studio (Supervisor – Benson Poon & Lik Wong), Deep Blue (Supervisor – Grzegorz Kukus), Fat Face Production Limited (Director – Ng Yuen Fai), Fat Face Production (Thailand) Co., Limited, Free-D Workshop Ltd (Supervisor – Loki Ho Ka Chuen & Jules Lin Chun Yue), Green Light (Supervisors – Elizar Knyazev & Vitaliy Volkov), More VFX (Supervisor – Ahee Chiu & Li Shuai), & Terminal FX (Supervisor – Alexei Lisovoy), Art Design – Lam Wai Kin & Alex Mok. Production Company – One Cool Film Production Limited/Media Asia/World Universal Culture/iQiyi Pictures/Shenzhen Film Studios Co., Ltd.


Louis Koo (Tyler), Sean Lau (Johnson Cheng), Philip Keung (Skunk), Carina Lau (Colonel Tam Bing), Nick Cheung (Sean Li), Wan Guopeng (Connor), Janice Wu (Lucy), Cheung Xiaoxia (Pansy), Tse Kwan Ho (Dr Chan)


In the future, the environment has become badly polluted. Large domes called Skynets have been built to protect the cities. In Skynet B16 built over Hong Kong, a meteor falls and produces a giant alien plant that is named Pandora, which spreads and puts down roots. The military plan to drop a gene bullet into Pandora that will destroy it. However, this needs to be delivered directly into the plant’s pistil. A flight of helicopters are despatched to deliver the bullet but these are struck down by the plant’s aggressive roots. In the midst of this, the traitorous commander Sean Li activates one of the military robots to sabotage the mission. With Tyler and one of his troupe left alive inside the infestation zone and facing attacking giant insects, Johnson Cheng takes an APC and drives in determined to save his old friend and complete the operation. At the same time, Sean Li is determined to stop the mission and activates more killer robots to eliminate them.

There are not many science-fiction films to have emerged from China. In genre material, there are plentiful Wu Xia fantasies, ghost stories and assorted thrillers but not much has emerged from the science-fiction genre. However, that has started to change in the late 2010s/early 2020s with the likes of Gone with the Night (2019), Shanghai Fortress (2019), The Wandering Earth (2019) and sequel, The Underground War (2021), Moon Man (2022), Mutant Ghost Wargirl (2022) and the tv series The Three-Body Problem (2023- ). (See Chinese Cinema).

Warriors of Future is essentially a Hong Kong-made attempt to create a Michael Bay film. It comes out not long after the Chinese-made Restart the Earth (2021), which had a not dissimilar plot about a troupe of soldiers on a vital mission to deliver a genetic bullet that will deliver humanity from a planetwide explosion of plants. As Michael Bay-styled Mass Destruction Spectaculars go, Warriors of Future has a level of excitement that puts its foot to the pedal and rarely ever lets up. This is abundantly evident a few scenes in where we have a massively scaled sequence with the flotilla of helicopters flying in to drop the bullets and being battered and smashed about by giant plant roots or becoming caught up in their vines, and the plants crashing through buildings, all amid a great deal of artillery fire. And that’s before the film jumps into a furious ground-level battle with some wonderfully malicious and nasty looking bugs.

Louis Koo and Sean Lau in action in Warriors of Future (2022)
(l to r) Louis Koo and Sean Lau go into action

This is immensely exciting stuff. There is a sequence in the middle of the film with the party fleeing in an armoured vehicle while being pursued by robots firing a massive amount of gunfire that rips through the car like shredded paper, all while Louis Koo is fighting robots on the roof and then the vehicle is left teetering on the edge of a collapsing bridge as the robots are fighting to get in that leaves you feeling breathless with excitement. This is capped by another sequence with characters fighting in the streets with a massive crab-shaped robot and Louis Koo in his power suit in hand-to-hand combat with one of the robots that is beating the crap out of him like he were a rag doll.

The film plays to fairly simple plotting – the soldier characters that give their all to duty (a common trope in Chinese cinema), the fuck-up who is trying to redeem himself for his past; the cute kid who needs rescuing and reminds the commander of his own dead daughter – there is even a wilfully heart-tugging scene where his daughter’s music box starts to play during the above scene where he is having the crap beaten out of him by the robot.

The naming of the domes as Skynet seems purely intentional, while the film also manages to get off some references to the awesomeness of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

This was the first film as director for Ng Yuen Fai, who had previously worked as a visual effects supervisor for the Thai-based Fat Face Production.

(Nominee for Best Special Effects at this site’s Best of 2022 Awards).

Trailer here

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