Well Go U.S.A. has tabbed June 2 as the street for both DVD and Blu-ray editions of Vietnamese-born and now Hong Kong-based filmmaker Tsui Hark’s latest all-action spectacular, The Taking of Tiger Mountain, which was adapted (quite liberally) from Qu Bo’s best-selling 1957 Red Army tale of post-war heroics, “Tracks in the Snowy Forest.”
The ARR comes in at 151 days and the domestic box office take currently stands at $228,984.
World War II has come to end, but civil war in China rages on. 50 years ago the Chinese government used to churn out dreadfully-produced propaganda films that showed the noble Red Army battling the forces of Chiang Kai-shek’s KMT (backed, naturally by the Americans) for the soul of China.
Those days are gone. If a frontline filmmaker, such as Tsui Hark (A Better Tomorrow, Once Upon a Time in China, Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, etc.), wants to do a period piece (in this case circa 1946) about the civil war that raged in the north of China during that period, the result is not some cheesy rah-rah flick, but a first class film presentation.
The look and feel of what is on the screen puts you squarely in this tumultuous period in Chinese history … the warlords and bandits filling the vacuum left by the collapse of the Japanese occupation forces and the rise of the People’s Liberation Army (united with Chiang Kai-shek during the war, but now out to claim the country for themselves).
The sinister Master Hawk (Tony Leung Ka Fai — Beijing Love Story, Lost in Beijing, etc.) is the cunning leader of a gang of bandits, but unbeknownst to him his crew of cutthroats has been infiltrated by the noble Yang Zirong (played by Zhang Hanyu — The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel, Back to 1942, etc.), whose job is to ferret-out Hawk’s strengths and defenses so that his out-numbered band of brothers can overcome them in the forthcoming battle.
Beautifully mounted, loaded with action and presented in Mandarin, with English subtitles, once again Well Go U.S.A. has another hit on their hands with Tsui Hark’s The Taking of Tiger Mountain.