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Clash of Empires: Battle for Asia (3.5/10)

posted Jun 5, 2011, 3:20 AM by Gordon Doherty   [ updated Jan 27, 2015, 3:42 AM ]
I saw the title of this movie and figured it was a 'must watch':
The Roman Empire and the Chinese Empire clashing? Wow, I thought, imagining epic battle lines drawn up in the deserts or the steppe. Okay, it was released straight to DVD, so probably lower-budget, I mused, but who cares, it's still Romans fighting! And the dvd cover and the movie blurb do suggest it is a pretty much Rome vs China movie...
The 'Romans' were in the movie for about twenty minutes at the start and consisted of a century or so of chaps who looked like they had got their armour from Toys 'R' Us. After that, the story was that of the Chinese and some pirates fighting on a beach, some of the action was pretty good, but I was still harumphing, arms folded and lip petted at this point (where are my Romans?!?). Also the acting and particularly the dialogue were a bit cheesy.
I'm being pretty harsh on this movie, but it certainly does have some good ideas and plotlines. The premise of the movie is intriguing, with a distant descendant of Alexander the Great leading the shattered remains of a Roman fleet to the Malay peninsula. but the execution could have been better and the marketing a little less misleading.
So, overall, not a 'must-watch', but a decent enough movie if you remove your expectations of a Roman epic.
P.S. the film I thought I would be watching reminded me of a book I read a few years back, and loved, by Valerio Massimo Manfredi - Empire of Dragons, and I'd recommend it over this movie (especially as it is Roman-centric):