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3.6 out of 5 stars14
3.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 23 February 2011
One of the best war movies of the last years is the Chinese made Assembly [2007] [DVD] a brilliant film with some of the best battle scenes filmed.

So based on that experience and good reviews here I bought the entire Axis of War Triology. I tried looking them up on IMdB or Wikipedia but both those sources are silent.

Buying online you can go wrong I am afraid.

...

Disclaimer
Before the rest of the review I would like to emphasise that I have a vested interest in Chinese history and do not intend the following to be any form of Mao bashing or critisim towards the Red Army. This is solely a review of the film as a war movie.

...

This is one of the most blatant and badly done propaganda movies I have seen from some time. No expense has been spared to make this movie, and the settings are well done and quite a lot of explosions but that is all that can be said for the pros.

The rest is rubbish.

The start is funny, almost Boratesque and you immediately get the feeling of a Propaganda Ministry Production. The acting is overdone and frequently silly with an emphasis on high (overdone) drama and a lot of constant crying. Mao himself is portraid as a model of calm in the storm of troubles but is overdone like all else. The scene where the boy combing Mao's hair is badly written, the boy (a central character) poorly played and the dialoge terrible. All combine into a scene that has to be seen to be believed and you are better of never seeing it. And the battle scenes are rubbish as well despite all the obvious money involved. The first scene has gritty and realistic surroundings, the bomb boys have brought all their special effects but the CGI Aircraft are very poor, there is even a scene where the camera action rolls to the left but the Aircraft fit the frame as if it was still so they have a very odd movement to the left. Very badly done.

Then there is the climax battle of Luding Bridge, a very important historical battle. Again the scenery and detial is very well done which makes it all the harder to see how silly the battle is, overdramatic acting, crying and such that puts Ben Affleck's Pearl Harbor to same. Through a sea of fire the soldiers crossing the bridge (only chains at the time since the boarding had been removed) are unhurt until one dies with an extravagant dramatic flair.

My conclusion is that the film is a error in time. Aside from the money and detailing in scenery and uniforms the movie is bad. The script feels like a long dated film and doesn't just border silliness as it has long crossed it. To imagine that a masterpiece of war movie making like Assembly can be done in the same country at the same time as this film is amazing. The only thing missing to make it bad enough to be tolerable is to have a few song and dance scenes thrown in but it isn't bad enough to be fun.

Avoid.
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on 16 December 2010
Subtitled - very clear. Second film in the Axis of War Trilogy. Based on a true story, this stand-alone film follows a young Chairman Mao with his troops. The start of the film will literally blow you away - planes coming in, bombs dropping, explosions, people and soldiers running. Good story, light-hearted in places, (note how the two sides treat their prisoners!). The Long March ends with a massive fire fight which you have to see to believe. Highly recommended. You can't go wrong at this price.....buy it!
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on 4 March 2013
The only thing I find wrong with the DVD is the sub titles,brilliant I wish it could have been dubbed into English other than that a brilliant DVD I shall be purchasing more in the future
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on 31 January 2014
This is pure politics throuhout,and gives insight into the early years of the forming and struggles of the Red Army.
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on 15 June 2011
Having bought some excellent Far Eastern films from Amazon, I got the first two in this series. This story is an epic tale of sacrifice, devotion to a creed & total trust in their leaders from a people fully swallowing (or made to swallow) the tenet that Communism would lead to a free and fairer life for the then illiterate and oppressed masses.
Unfortunately the film would have been fine if made in the forties or fifties as every old movie cliche is there & if John Wayne,Maureen O'Hara and Sabu had been Chinese, they'd have no doubt been in it except the obligatory dog would have been eaten in reel one.
It is indeed a shame that such an heroic (depending whose side you're on)historical struggle has been reduced to the over-sentimental in parts and almost comic in others especially the religious devotion to the flag and the Party when all around one's family is destroyed. I'm not saying this doesn't happen in real conflicts but not with so much thickly applied cheese.
However, this is a Westernised view - from someone who has had the benefit of thousands of movies in my life and seen styles of filming and acting change over the years. Perhaps if viewed more sympathetically from the point of your average Chinese citizen with a more limited movie background (and of course a heavily censorial authority mindful of what is watched by its public) it might be accepted more for the glorious epic it was intended to be. The action scenes are spectacular but serious oriental acting always seems to be overdone (again to Western eyes only perhaps).
So, if you - like me - want to learn about a lesser known part of history (to Westerners anyway), go ahead but prepare for a different, older deja-vu style of storytelling. Personally I won't be buying the other two parts.
See instead 'Assembly' ,'Joint Security Area', 'Red Cliff' and 'City of Life and Death'
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on 23 August 2014
The story of the rise to power of Mao zi tung. Part one of three. Excellent
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on 18 February 2011
War, bloody war, without trumpets of glory or flags in the wind, described with the eyes of a young soldier of Chinese Red Army leaded by the Chairman Mao. A propaganda movie, based on the glorious sacrifice of a family (the father, the daughter and her's fiancè) for the cause of the revolution.
But action scenes are well made and the movie show the spirit of men who fight and die for their cause (right or wrong, it's not important).
If you like warmovie is a good film.
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on 27 October 2014
wrong dvd and its part 2??..
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on 10 June 2015
good film.
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on 7 September 2014
EXCELLENT
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