The Taking of Tiger Mountain (d. Tsui Hark)
Set in 1946, this wartime drama pits multiple sides against each other, all in quest of a strategic mountain post. Not being familiar with the battle nor the players, initially I found it a challenge to keep track of the heroes and villains; it doesn’t help that most everyone is bundled up against the cold. But the film is rarely static, which means it’s easy to sit back and get caught up in the swirling visual experience. Being familiar with Tsui Hark’s past work helps; I’ve often been baffled by elements of his storytelling , which is usually rescued by his ability to orchestrate action sequences, as it is here.
Granted, the effects work is not always top-rate, but, again, by the point that became an issue, I was already captivated by what was unfolding on screen. It’s a pleasure to see that Tsui’s ability to stage and assemble action sequences remains strong, cascading one upon the next; here it’s backed up and strengthened by the sober dramatics of the situation.
The film is playing an exclusive engagement at Cinemark Legacy in Plano; it’s a smaller auditorium, but features good sound and projection, and the stadium seating is fine. The English subtitles are well-timed and easy to read.