Stylish Chinese fantasy epic Enter the Warriors Gate heralds its Western release with a trailer showcasing a prime example of the grandiose Hollywoodization of the country’s film industry. Notably brandishing Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista as its decked-out villain, the film mixes video game, Kung Fu and epic fantasy tropes, manifesting as a light-hearted hybrid.
Enter the Warriors Gate centers on a young protagonist – an American living abroad in China – named Jack (Uriah Shelton), who spends time playing a lavish fantasy style video game under the avatar of the Black Knight. However, when a job tasks with keeping an ancient chest in his home, things go all Jumanji with the artifact’s magic manifesting a character from his video game seeking the help of the Black the Knight. Consequently, Jack gets sucked into the world of his video game where he is expected to “guard the most precious treasure of the empire” in Princess Su Lin (Ni Ni). However, Jack’s goal and his apparent legend in this digital empire as the Black Knight puts him on a collision course with an evil barbarian king named Arun (Dave Bautista). With his magic-making allies, it becomes imperative that Jack’s skills with his thumbs translates physically inside the game world to keep the princess safe and topple the tyrant.
Enter the Warriors Gate features an interesting lineup of Chinese and Western stars. Uriah Shelton, who plays Jack, is known to American television viewers for his run as a regular on sitcom revival Girl Meets World, the Julia Stiles-starring drama Blue and on A&E’s controversially cancelled crime series The Glades. Chinese starlet Ni Ni may be best known to Western audiences appearing opposite Christian Bale in the 2011 Chinese crossover drama The Flowers of War and, oddly enough, co-starred in a 2015 Chinese remake of the 2009 American comedy Bride Wars. Of course, the presence of Dave Bautista is highly touted, especially as the WWE wrestler-turned actor gets ready for May’s release of his Marvel movie sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Mark Chao, Francis Chun-Yu Ng and Sienna Guillory also fill the cast.
Directing Enter the Warriors Gate is Matthias Hoene, whose one previous feature film was the 2012 comedic horror curiosity (one you’ve likely stumbled upon while channel surfing,) called Cockneys vs Zombies. Interestingly enough, Hoene works off a script by two verifiable legends in the stylish action auteur Luc Besson, who writes and directs this summer’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Robert Mark Kamen, a mastermind who worked with Besson creating the Taken and The Transporter franchises and, much further back, was a primary visionary behind The Karate Kid films.
Enter the Warriors Gate will arrive in the West as a day-and-date release, hitting On Demand and limited theatrical showings on May 5.