Entertainment, Film and Music
Film Review: ‘The Taking of Tiger Mountain’
Just as Tsui Hark revamped the sedate, two-decades-long chopsocky series “Wong Fei-hung” into the rollicking martial-arts epic “Once Upon a Time in China,” so the Hong Kong genre-meister has transformed a Chinese communist propaganda classic into a barnstorming period actioner with “The Taking of Tiger Mountain.” Boasting arguably the finest 3D visuals in recent mainland cinema while retaining the original chronicle’s populist ideals, this account of the People’s Liberation Army’s strategic ambush of a bandits’ lair delivers sinewy battles and twisty espionage with a husky northern flavor. It topped the Chinese box office upon its Dec. 23 release and should wow bona fide Asian genre fans.
Extracting a famous episode from Qu Bo’s fact-based novel “Tracks in the Snowy Forest” (“Lin hai xue yuan”), “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” was one of eight revolutionary operas (yangbanxi) promulgated by Mao Zedong’s wife Jiang Qing during the Cultural Revolution. »
– Maggie Lee