At the end of 1918 while civil war is raging on in Russia, antagonism is slowly spreading to the East, between the Oural mountains and Shanghai. Stuck between a desire to save what's left ... See full summary »
At the end of 1918 while civil war is raging on in Russia, antagonism is slowly spreading to the East, between the Oural mountains and Shanghai. Stuck between a desire to save what's left of the great Imperial Russia, and starting from a clean slate, old generals, secret organizations, and mercenaries attracted by gold, struggle to take advantage of the events. As Corto Maltese returns to Shanghai, he barely gets time to cross paths with his old friend/nemesis Raspoutine, and escape a murder attempt before being contacted by members of a Chinese secret organization called "The Red Lanterns". In the heart of violent Mandchourian horizons, Corto and Raspoutine launch themselves into a fabulous treasure hunt, following the tracks of the mysterious armor-plated train of Koltchak. A steel monster spiked with canons and machine guns, this trains protects the counter-revolutionaries gold, traveling through Mongolia, and! Mandchouria. While following the bloody trail of this doomed train, ... Written by
Corto Maltese is one of the greatest graphical novel characters, or even literature characters for that matter, ever created. He's an adventurer, a pirate, a murderer and a lover, what ever suits his needs. Or then again he might spend entire story by just watching other people do all the adventuring. Then he just disappears just to turn out from somewhere else.
This particular story is from the more action end: Rasputin (Corto's insane Russian friend, who without any doubt is The Rasputin) and Corto are after Russian gold train, but then again so are lots of other people too. This gives a change to display some action scenes and conflicts between Corto and other parts of the story: Chinese, Russians, Mongols.
As for all Pratt's stories go, the story line is rather multi threaded, but it's hardly explained in any part, sometimes things just seem to happen and no one is explaining why. But then again there's no real need for that either, it's just the way these stories are told.
Animation is mostly well done, there are some parts which are little lacking, especially the human animation is little blocky in some places. All the special effects scenes are done with 3D animation, but they blend in with the painted backgrounds and characters rather seamlessly in most cases. Though there are some places where the difference is too visible.
This movie should be a treat for all Hugo Pratt fans, as I myself found it to have same mood that most of Pratt's comics have. I wouldn't mind having more of this.
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