A piece of string.
A Chinese garrison on the way home is caught by a snowstorm and takes shelter in a village belonging to the "cursed" Harran tribe.
There reluctant officer Lu finds a beautiful woman hiding in a pit...
I'm not entirely sure what I just watched. To begin with, it's not the film you'd expect from the DVD cover. Given the way our two leads are standing, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that they end up facing off against.. I dunno, barbarians of some sort.
There are barbarians involved but they disappear offstage long before Maggie Q gets her hands on a sword. Which she comes close to using on the hero anyway.
Well, he had just raped her.
This is not a comfortable film to watch for a number of reasons.To begin with, the first part of the film concern's Lu's entry into the army lifestyle and sees the narrative bouncing between present and flashback like a demented wallaby.
Part two settles down to a two-person drama - Lu and the nameless woman snarling at each other in between bouts of sexual activity that he enjoys more than she does, at least to start off with.
Can you say "Stockholm Syndrome"?
And then "The Warrior and the Wolf" steps sideways to become something considerably more mystical
There's hefty pieces of the film where dialogue is pared down to the absolute minimum, if not beyond, there's a lot of focus on a particular piece of cord for reasons that are never explained, and Lu is not the most likeable protagonist even before he assaults his co-star.
This film is beautifully shot though. It's one of those films where the landscape deserves a cast credit of its own - wherever it is, it's gorgeous to behold and they get some of the most astonishing sunsets.
So to sum up: Looks pretty, not always easy to follow and the "romantic" elements are dubious to say the least. Approach with caution.