Tsui Hark's latest feature is ostensibly his contribution to the 'men on a mission' genre. It's also his best film in ages. While "Tiger Mountain" owes something to the propaganda cinema it originates from, it owes just as much - if not more - to the James Bond flicks of the 60's and "The Dirty Dozen." If the film has any major weakness, it's that we're never in doubt our competent and virtuous heroes will succeed.
Although the humor and caricature are in a very thick line, as usual in popular cinema that Hark is one of the exponents, the "action sequences" are extraordinarily staged, also as his usual. The relationship with the contemporary scenes is somewhat failed but allows at the end a spurious add from the fictional point of view yet exhilarating in formal terms, after all, the primeval point of view in cinema.
Tsui Hark's latest cgi laden opus tells an engrossing tale, based on the novel by Bo Qu, about a battle between a bandit gang and the PLA. The obvious cgi often takes focus away from a fairly strong story but the film is made more enjoyable by its two leads namely Hanyu Zhang and a near unrecognizable Tony Ka Fai Leung. Couple of strong set pieces especially the battle for the village at the mid point.
A fascinating film of surfaces and artifice that somehow still feels warm and alive. Abundant and garish CGI and cartoonish 3D layering should read as hideously ugly, but instead become engrossing. Just as the drama should read as melodrama, but doesn't thanks to the modern bookends that cast the film as fiction, Tiger Mountain's visual palate transcends its obvious falseness and reaches a different kind of beauty.
Total, utter, exultant propaganda. Our blockbusters are universally works of propaganda. Just usually less shameless. Technically Tsui has come to be the equal of a Spielberg. But his propaganda is more naked. The thing about mainland China's encompassing myth-making is that for all the grandeur, they have not progressed at all beyond the cinema made in the Soviet Union leading up to the death of Stalin.
Tanto fracasso (nel senso letterale del termine: sparatorie ed esplosioni si sprecano) per niente. L'atteso ritorno di Tsui Hark è un pachiderma di effett(acc)i in CGI tanto ricco di denari quanto povero di emozioni: i personaggi si confondono fra loro già dalle prime battute ed il tutto scorre per due ore e venti nell'indifferenza più totale. Carine alcune trovate visive, ma di cinema nessuna traccia.