Christian Bale is a terrific actor and he did good as the american mortician in this movie. But I felt the movie had many unwanted scenes with untimely crude humor which was unnecessary when you try to tell the story of the "Rape of Nanking" during the second sino-Japanese war.
What you're really doing when you make a slick state-sanctioned comic strip version of one of the darkest hours of 20th century history, replete with mustache-twirling villains, slow-mo blood sprays, hookers with hearts of gold, and heroic Chinese soldiers who can wipe out whole platoons of Japs singlehandedly, is pissing on the memory of the victims. Zhang, who once had talent, is a pretty contemptible character.
As uncompromisingly brutal as it is sympathetically Chinese, this dramatisation of Japanese Imperialism, namely the Rape of Nanking, is impeccably polished and gorgeous to look at. The curious casting of Bale works for me – I’d say it is his most appealing performance. Zhang is becoming a firm favourite.
I didn't like that the japanese characters were shown as evil monsters. I know that they did things wrong during the war and that they killed a lot of people, but this movie looks like an anti-japanese propaganda film to increase the hate against japanese people in China. Everyday I'm more tired about propagandistic war movies, we should live the present, not in the past.
This could have been a good movie if not for one simple problem...WHY IS CHRISTIAN BALE THE STAR OF THIS MOVIE?! This is a Chinese story, why not tell it from the perspective of a Chinese man such as a priest or a green soldier who has not seen the horrors of war up close before. This film completely reeks of racist Hollywood messing around with things that ought not to be messed around with.