"God of War" 荡寇风云 (dang kou feng yun) is a movie based on the Japanese pirates' invasion of China during the 1500s, and how Ming Dynasty General Qi Ji-guang fought to repel them. This movie is NOT about the video game of the same name featuring the Spartan demi-god Kratos!
Set to be released in June 2017, here's a breakdown of the movie trailer.
The movie stars veteran martial arts actor Vincent Zhao as the famous General Qi Ji-guang. He is well-known in the Chinese martial arts movies industry. At his current age of 45, it seems like he still packs a punch!
At the start of the movie trailer, we saw this special polearm for a split second. It is likely that this is a "Pear Flower Spear", which is a type of Spear that has explosive attached to its tip, so that you can spew fireworks at your enemy.
Even if doesn't burns the enemy, it can serve as a major deterrence as well as blind the enemy as you charge forward to thrust him. Or perhaps, the ancient soldiers thought it will be a good idea to skewer and barbecue the enemy at the same time.
Next we see the Chinese forces trying to storm a Japanese encampment. Notice that the barricades are arranged in a staggered formation. This forces the troops to zig-zag their way in, thus slowing them down while the Japanese soldiers can pick them off with their Teppo (matchlock rifle).
General Qi Ji-guang's success in repelling the Japanese pirates' invasion can largely be attributed to his invention of the "Mandarin Duck Formation".
The Japanese were very skillful in their swordsmanship, and it proved difficult to fight against in past battles by the Chinese forces.
The "Mandarin Duck Formation" places the Shield and Wolf-Brush at the front to block the Japanese swords first, so that then the Spearmen can rush forward to thrust at them. The Wolf-Brush is a long polearm with a lot of branches sticking out, which can help to trap the Japanese sword.
After the war, General Qi Ji-guang documented his "Mandarin Duck Formation" and techniques in his book, which was translated into English today over here.
I look forward to watch the movie and see if the producers used historically accurate tactics, or will it just be 2 forces clashing blindly into each other? We shall see!
Last but not least, veteran actor Sammo Hung stars as General Yu Da-you!
General Yu played an important role in fighting the Japanese pirates along with General Qi. He later wrote a book too, titled "Sword Treatise", which is a collection of deep martial arts application using the wooden Staff. This is because the Staff training provides the foundation to learn and use any other weapons. You can find the English translation of "Sword Treatise" here.
In this movie poster, it shows Sammo Hung holding a wooden Staff. I wonder if it's because the producers know about General Yu's book?
There are also theories by historians that a large percentage of the pirates were actually ethnic Chinese, recruited by the Japanese to fight. We shall see if this will be portrayed in the movie!
You can watch the full movie trailer above.
Ancient Chinese Martial Arts Manuals