Most helpful positive review
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Excellent historical drama
on January 20, 2014
My reviews have been sparse of late. I wanted to review this one because the professional critics really got it wrong. This is a Chinese film made for Chinese. Some of the reviewers complained that it required historical knowledge. Well, duh! If they're too lazy to take the time to find out a little about a culture they don't understand, they should leave the criticism to someone that does.
This is an excellent film. Compared to many, it hews pretty close to the historical record. It is a drama, however and a war film. It succeeds in those aspects at least as well. Some critics found the film hard to follow. I didn't. The flashback scenes made perfect sense within the context of the film and serve as an excellent mechanism to provide background information, rather than trying to cover the background at the beginning, which would probably make the film longer and harder to follow (Red Cliff does that well, but it's a 4 hour movie).
The battle scenes are as good as any I've seen (possibly excepting Red Cliff, which is the best war movie I've ever seen, period.).
See this movie. Watch it in Mandarin with English subtitles so you can get a sense of what the actors are trying to convey. And do your homework; at least learn a little about the Song dynasty. It will make the film even more enjoyable.