March 17, 2015

The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014)

The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Tsui Hark
Country: China

Movie Review: Vietnamese-born director, Tsui Hark, is already a reference when it comes to spectacular Asian flicks that combine adventure, fantasy, and action. In his latest, the 3D “The Taking of Tiger Mountain”, he based himself on Qu Bo’s novel ‘Tracks in the Snowy Forest’, focusing on a particular episode of the communist Chinese revolution, and bringing in, both real and fictional characters. Thoroughly mounted and sharply shot, the film is another colorful adventure, but this time lacking the fantasy, splendor and mystery of “Detective Dee”. And how I missed these aspects! On the one hand we can call it minimally entertaining, taking into account some curious characters that include soldiers, spies, bandits, and assassins; on the other hand, its violent scenes are too detailed and set up with a clangorous ostentation (a tiger attack was the most ridiculous of them), gradually becoming more tiresome than substantial. Another aspect that deserves a bit more attention from Mr.Hark is the duration of his movies – almost two hours and a half for a movie with this visual intensity is too much, and only works for masterpieces such as the first Lord of the Rings trilogy. Sentimentality also dwells here, designed by the presence of Knoti, a scared, famished little boy who thought to have lost his mother. With all its faults, I have to admit that one of the most freakish villains of the contemporary Chinese cinema can be found here. Actually, Lord Hawk, terrifically impersonated by Tony Leung Ka-fai, was a spectacle for the eyes, coming instantly to my mind when I try to figure out something positive. “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” is a razzle-dazzle that probably would give a good comic book. Usually, it’s the other way around.

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