Benz Eye View: Railroad Tigers

railroad_tigers_poster
Railroad Tigers

Pros: 

1.) It is really good to see Jackie Chan again, and it is nice to see that he still got his acting talent.  He still shows great charisma in his acting, and has great chemistry with his actors and fighting staff…

2.) …Speaking of fighting, the action scenes are great.  There are a few choices of action that bother me (i.e. slow-motion is not necessary), but these fight scenes show that Jackie Chan can still pull off action scenes that we can see (most of the time), and stunts that show off their hand-to-hand combat and movements (especially on the third act).

3.) Adding to the fights and stunts is the comedy.  Not only are there funny moments, but it also implemented in the fight scenes.  Jackie Chan knows how to be funny even when he is fighting.  If you do not know how he does it, this video should help:

 

Cons: 

1.) The cutting from shot to shot can get really annoying in the first two acts.  There are so many moments where there is a shot that lasts for a second, and then the next shot lasts for another second.  Sometimes, the movie cuts to establishing shots so many times, it becomes tedious.  The audience gets where the scene takes place, so stop showing the establishing shot five times in the past ten seconds.

2.) You know what is a smart way for a filmmaker to familiarize characters?  Introduce them with them taking action that matches their character?  No.  This movie’s idea: cue card introductions that show their names, a few-word descriptions, and a tagline for some characters.  Yep…that lazy technique.

3.) It is actually kind of hard to follow the movie in the first act.  I get that it takes place in China during World War II, but the plot and character motivations is difficult to understand when the movie begins.  Largely thanks to the bad editing in the first act, it is confusing to understand (especially when the short cuts is accompanied with quick subtitled lines).  In addition, there are moments when the tone can be off.  It is mostly played for laughs at one point, but suddenly becomes serious later.

 

Overall: 

I am a big fan of Jackie Chan ever since I was little, but it has been a long time since I have seen a Jackie Chan movie.  Fortunately, this movie called Railroad Tigers was just released this week in the USA, and it seems that very few people know of its existence (considering the people watching in the theater I was in).  If you love Jackie Chan and his use of martial arts for action comedy, then go watch this movie.  The movie reminds me so much of his old work, and it is so much fun despite some glaring flaws.  I wish to see more of him in the future (hopefully, he comes back to America with competent filmmakers like his Hong Kong staff), and I look forward to see Jackie Chan to kick some butt while receiving pain in hilarious fashion.

7/10

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