2008 · United States, China, Germany - Rob Cohen
In the past, China was torn by a series of wars. A brutal and tyrannical warlord named Han (Jet Li) unites what was several kingdoms into one single massive empire. He conquers his enemies and becomes The Dragon Emperor. As his first act as Emperor, he orders the construction of the Great Wall of China, burying his former enemies beneath it and cursing their souls to hold it up for all eternity. The Emperor's mystics teach him supernatural mastery over the Five Elements (Fire, Water, Earth, Wood and Metal). Years pass, and Emperor Han begins to grow fearful that all he has accomplished will be lost upon his death. He hears of a witch, Zi Yuan (Yeoh), who is said to know the secret of immortality. Han sends his right-hand man, General Ming Guo (Wong), to find Zi Yuan and bring her to the palace. Ming finds Zi Yuan and they fall in love, resulting in jealousy from the Emperor, who desired Zi Yuan for himself. After Zi Yuan supposedly casts a spell on the Emperor in Sanskrit, a language he does not understand, he has Ming torn apart by horses and impales Zi Yuan with a sword, terribly wounding her. She then reveals that she had foreseen these events and has cast a powerful curse on Emperor Han and his army, instead of making him immortal. The Emperor is gruesomely burned alive and imprisoned within a shell of terracotta, as is his army, transforming them into the Terracotta Army. Zi Yuan escapes.