OK, I said I’d do a few posts about Tsui Hark‘s The Taking of Tiger Mountain – so here’s the film review, or an attempt at it.
Let’s start with the plot.
As mentioned in a previous post, The Taking of Tiger Mountain is based on true events: in the winter of 1946, in North-Eastern China, a unit of the Chinese People Liberation Army tackled a local warlord and his army of bandits.
Then, a novel, an opera, a movie – and in 2014, The Taking of Tiger Mountain.
Tsui Hark’s take on this classic of historical adventure turned Cultural Revolution mainstay is framed as a movie-within-a-movie: in the prologue, Jimmi – a young hotshot Chinese programmer on his way to Silicon Valley – catches a glimpse of the 1970 version of the movie, and decides to re-watch it.
What we see, therefore, is the 1970s movie through the eyes of a post-Communist young man1.
Ergo, the somewhat stiff and overstated 1970 film turns on the screen into a Spielbergesque high adventure entertainment. Continue reading