Review by Cade
Railroad Tigers takes place in China, and characterizes a tight-knit gang of rebels’ defiance towards the oppressive Japanese forces in their homeland. Their ultimate goal is to blow up a bridge, perhaps vital to their current conflict. Don’t let the seemingly dire presence fool you, however. Though intense, several hilarious scenes are sprinkled throughout, inviting audience members to enjoy humor of both the high and low variety. The action sequences are periodical and lengthy, featuring one fighting films’ most beloved actors: Jackie Chan, who delivers a more than decent performance.
Railroad Tigers was one of the rare movies for me that actually grew on me as it progressed. I initially wasn’t a fan of the way it presented so many characters at once- it felt like too many to handle at once. It wasn’t long before the structure became clear- it’s separated into three main acts, which are all satisfying in their own way.
The writers of this movie definitely did a good job with being unpredictable – in a good way. Just when you think perhaps that these lovable rebels have gained the upper hand, the situation could be (and often is) completely flipped around in the blink of an eye, and vice versa. The one question that is repeatedly hinted at is obvious: will they succeed in their goal to destroy this bridge? And towards the end I still honestly believed that they could succeed or fail.
Though one of the films strongest points was its comedy, the action sequences, especially the final one, was absolutely compelling. It was just so lengthy, but never boring. I always felt as though what was happening was vital for a proper conclusion.
I would recommend Railroad Tigers to anyone who is a fan of the classic idea of a small underdog versus a larger side who are definitely more well equipped. Though there is blood, it is not overdone, making the large amount of death in the movie bearable and not overwhelming. Its finale and exposition leading up to that shouldn’t be missed, though it gets off to a slow start.
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