The Taking of Tiger Mountain (智取威虎山) Movie Review

Movie Review Comments (19)

The Taking of Tiger Mountain (智取威虎山) Movie Review | by tiffanyyong.com

Recommended Audience: Fans of Zhang Hanyu 张涵予, Lin Gengxin 林更新, Tong Liya 佟丽娅, Tony Leung Ka Fai 梁家辉, Yu Nan 余男, Han Geng 韩庚 and action movie fans

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The Taking of Tiger Mountain (智取威虎山) Movie Synopsis

4W4A0176Adapted from the famous Chinese novel “Tracks in the Snowy Forest” set during the civil war era of 1946, when ruthless bandits occupied Northeastern China and threatened the lives of civilians there. The most powerful bandit of all was Mountain Eagle (Tony LEUNG Ka-fai), with an impenetrable fortress up in Tiger Mountain and armed with strong artillery. Unit 203 of the Liberation Army, led by SHAO (LIN Gengxin), was crossing the Northeastern region when they encountered Eagle’s men raiding a village. SHAO decided to stay and fight against Eagle. Headquarters sent a skilled investigator YANG (ZHANG Hanyu), who infiltrated Eagle’s gang as an undercover. The duo was soon engaged in a battle of wits with the cold-blooded Eagle, deep inside the snowy forest.

4W4A7531根據中國著名小說《林海雪原》改編。1946年冬季,中國東北地區在內戰期間,各幫土匪為患,百姓飽受煎熬。其中以佔領威虎山的「座山鵰」(梁家輝飾)一幫最為強悍,依仗天險及強大火力,成為東北山頭的霸主。解放軍203部隊共34人,正翻過雪山回老家等候總部指令,豈料路上巧遇「座山鵰」的部下劫村。203首長少劍波(林更新飾),決意留下助村民殲滅「座山鵰」。總部派出擅於喬裝的偵察員楊子榮(張涵予飾)前來協助203。楊子榮冒險扮成土匪混進威虎山,希望跟少劍波裡應外合行動。但「座山鵰」為人陰險多疑,楊子榮與少劍波身陷林海雪原,憑藉機智一步一驚心。

The Taking of Tiger Mountain (智取威虎山) Viewer Rating: 3.5/5 ***

The Taking of Tiger Mountain (智取威虎山) Movie Review:

4W4A7857At the first glance (at the movie poster), this is definitely not the usual film that many people would catch. However, before the film was aired in Singapore, I’ve seen many positive review circulating online. Thanks to Clover Films, I got to watch this film directed by Tsui Hark, the director who filmed most of my favourite childhood Wong Fei Hong films starring Vincent Zhao and Jet Li.

4W4A7016While this film was adapted from a 1957 novel, a famous opera, as well as a real life story, I thought the story was a tad too dramatic, not that I didn’t like it, Lin Gengxin was almost a Captain America in the film with his leadership quality, and Chen Xiao (the recent Yang Guo in the New Condor Hero) as one of the be-spectacled Harry Potter-lookalike Gao Bo was like Bucky Barnes, Steve Roger’s best friend.

4W4A1968What I like about this film was how they made use of many popular actors and dressed them up in a such a way where they were almost not recognizable, unless you are their super fans. Chen Xiao and Tony Leung as Lord Hawk was one of the many examples.

4W4A7869While fans of these famous opera will love this adaptation, people who do not know about it might find the film over the top, with tanks, bombs and jet planes hidden in the Tiger Mountain. I had to admit that I enjoyed the 3D action, the excellent acting from majority of the cast, especially the hilarious bandit brothers, and Zhang Hanyu as Yang Zirong, the main protagonist of the film.

TOTM_Nov07_Still7It was exciting watching him doing the infiltration and spying within the gang of outlaws, at the same time communicating with the squad below the mountain using the weirdest but most useful way. The story might not be as solid and rich as Tsui Hark’s previous works, but this is still a pretty good watch if you like military strategy films!

Do You Know?

tsui harkThe director Tsui Hark made this film as a salute to the many nameless heroes who had helped win this war, which turned into a revolutionary opera.

squad 203In order to make the whole film more realistic, the director tried to make everyone speak in Northeastern mandarin.

han gengHan Geng acted as the descendent of Squad 203 and although he was labelled as one of the main actors, he had very little screen time. Actually, he was the only actor in the film that was appointed by the director.

tony leungTony Leung as the Mountain Eagle leader was so heavily made-up that many people did not recognize him in the film. The daily makeup took up more than 3 hours daily.

TOTM_Yang Zi RongZhang Hanyu as Yang Zhirong, a spy for Squad 203 spent more than 2 weeks fighting imaginary tiger and being on an imaginary aeroplane.

Behind The Scenes and Interviews

Check out The Taking of Tiger Mountain (智取威虎山)Chinese and English Wikipedia Site!
The Taking of Tiger Mountain (智取威虎山) is out in cinemas on 8 January 2015.

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*Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for the movie review.

If you’ve seen the movie, do let me know what you think of the film in the comment section below. If you agree/disagree with my review, feel free to comment and let me know! Follow me on Twitter/Instagram @tiffanyyongwt for future movie reviews, as well as other lifestyle reviews. 🙂

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On January 7, 2015

19 Responses to The Taking of Tiger Mountain (智取威虎山) Movie Review

  1. John says:

    You did an amazing job in reviewing this film. It made me understand more whether to watch it or not. Thanks.

  2. leybainpublic says:

    I am a fan of Tony Leung. He is a great actor!

  3. Elana Khong says:

    Hmm… not my kinda movies. Though the plot seem interesting.

  4. louisechelle says:

    Most of Chinese films are either about or inspired from their past and culture which makes them interesting to some however, I’m not really a fan of these kind of movies especially if I’d watch it in subtitles because I tend to get bored even before it reaches the middle part of the story.

  5. Eliz Frank says:

    I love expansive movies with great story lines and complex characters who surprise us. I’d love to see this movie.

  6. Manu Kalia says:

    This is a must watch. I love asian history movies. Thank you for reviewing it.

  7. sikat101 says:

    Interesting. We used to be able to watch Chinese films in one of the local channels. I watch them sometimes for the kung fu scenes. -katrina centeno

  8. Kelly Chin says:

    I will definitely going to watch this movie because Tsui Hark is my favourite director and most of his movie are artistic.

  9. franckxethee says:

    These looks like a good movie on team work and leadership. I’ll check where I can see this movie.

  10. Papaleng Pagulong says:

    It seems that the film based on true events is an action-drama of sort. This made me curious to see this film if it opens in our local theaters.

  11. Jason Panuelos says:

    Always love reading your movie reviews!! You make me want to watch more Asian movies! This one looks especially interesting 😉

  12. Raymond Vasquez says:

    Now I’m wondering if this is available for our viewing. Someone who doesn’t speak the language might not appreciate the movie entirely if he doesn’t understand. Hopefully someone edited this with a subtitle in English. 😀

  13. R U S S says:

    I love movies that have a war setting.Taking Tiger Mountain seems like a movie that I’d enjoy. I would like to read the book from where it took inspiration as well.

  14. Maureen says:

    Great review and the movie looks interesting. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  15. Fernando Ceballos Lachica says:

    Watched some movies like this one and cannot recognize them well. So, I was contented with plot of the story. If there’s subtitle in English so that I can understand scene-by- scene. I’ll try to watch this film.

  16. Sarah says:

    Interesting. This is the kind of movie setting that I like. I might look into this one. 🙂

  17. hannah gee says:

    I havent heard of this film before but it sounds great. We love action thrillers x

  18. Prasad Np aka desi Traveler says:

    Indeed you have raised my interest to watch the movie. though I am sure I will need subtitles to understand the dialogues properly…

  19. hanabello says:

    This looks like a fun movie to watch and seems star-studded, too! Thanks for the honest review and recommendation.

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