Home Entertainment The Battle at Water Gate Bridge review – gung-ho Chinese war epic takes on Uncle Sam

The Battle at Water Gate Bridge review – gung-ho Chinese war epic takes on Uncle Sam

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War is hell and so is a sure kind of conflict film: bloated, self-important and glassy-eyed with solemn patriotism. Directed by motion veteran Tsui Hark, The Battle at Water Gate Bridge is the enormous follow-up to China’s colossal army epic and home box-office smash, The Battle at Lake Changjin. It revives the story of how, in the course of the Korean conflict within the unimaginably chilly winter of 1950, the Chinese language military took on the US forces in Changjin county in North Korea and compelled Uncle Sam to retreat in direction of the thirty eighth parallel, gleefully choosing up artillery and ammo that the Individuals had been pressured to desert.

The primary movie took us to the “Hungnam evacuation” – an occasion which was for America one thing between Dunkirk and a foretaste of Saigon – by which many American and UN personnel needed to be airlifted out. Now the film continues, with extra of the identical mega greenscreen results: folks getting blown up with grenades and run over with tanks, in addition to loads of bullet-time slo-mo and freeze-frame set items of battlefield chaos.

China’s mission is now to impede the American retreat by blowing up a strategic bridge on a mountain gorge, whereas Douglas MacArthur blusters that retreat is treason and President Truman conspicuously declines to rule out utilizing the Bomb. These are proven through enjoyably cartoony moments: MacArthur shedding it at a grand diplomatic reception in Tokyo after which the lead-up to the Oval Workplace scene apparently – and unusually – created with an overhead monitoring shot alongside the White Home hall. However the English dialogue is fairly picket.

It’s in some methods utterly pointless to denounce this movie as “propaganda”: the 2 movies had been explicitly commissioned by the Chinese language Communist occasion as a part of last year’s centenary celebrations, with a decidedly anti-American flavour. Water Gate Bridge is formidable and gung-ho, however every little thing about this movie is constrained by a sure kind of formally sanctioned earnestness. Maybe it’s because everybody is aware of the ending of the Korean conflict: standoff and partition, a traditionally unresolved scenario by which, inevitably, some sort of ethical victory needs to be claimed rather than a army one.

The Battle at Water Gate Bridge is launched on 26 December on digital platforms.

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