2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Does exactly what it says on the box...,
This review is from: Assembly [DVD] (DVD)
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Assembly delivers on everything it promises on the cover and in the trailer. It is a fierce and brutal war story, and it is the story of a man looking for answers about the men he led into battle. It follows Captain Gu Zidi, first in the Chinese Civil War, then to Korea and onwards, and does so in a style reminiscent of a number of modern war films and television programmes. In particular, the classical score brings my recent re-watching of Band of Brothers to mind.
The film itself is long (closer to three hours than two) but it doesn't drag. The first hour or so is rip-roaring and action packed, and after that the film splits its time between more action and interspersed scenes following Captain Gu's life between his wars. The plot is not over-complicated, not over simple. I found that my complete lack of knowledge about the Chinese Civil War hampered me - but a quick glance over the first paragraph of the Wikipedia page will be more than enough for you to be able to keep up. Some of the dialogue (or rather subtitling) is a little cliched, but overall the film has an authentic and gritty feel, and will make you think - as all good war films should - about how depressing and difficult war is.
Despite this, however, I can't help but think that this film didn't quite deliver to me what it should have. I should have been overcome by emotion at the film's climax, and this should have been because my emotions were tied heavily to Gu and his story. It is difficult to fault the film - apart from the odd piece of script - the photography is excellent, the budget is obviously big. I wonder the story-telling wasn't quite good enough then, or the acting, but it is difficult to tell. Either way, I found this film to be lacking an intangible something, and that is why I drop it a star. Four it definitely deserves, and I wouldn't tell anyone not to watch this...