In 1918, civil wars are tearing Russia and China apart. Laconic adventurer Corto Maltese is hired by a Chinese secret society to capture a train that's taking Tzar's gold abroad. His friend Rasputin joins him, but only hell awaits them.
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In 1913, laconic sea captain Corto Maltese, adrift in the Pacific, gets rescued by his bandit friend Rasputin who's taking two rich shipwrecked teens to an island where his boss the Monk will hold them for ransom. WWI complicates things.
David Le Rheun
In 1921, laconic adventurer Corto Maltese is in Turkey where several armed factions fight for control. He finds a map to a lost Persian treasure there. He'll need his friend Rasputin who's in Samarkand prison run by Corto's double.
In 1915, laconic adventurer and former ship captain Corto Maltese, a popular European comic book character, is in war-torn Europe. During WWI, he visits four historical locations - Venice, Caporetto, Stonehenge and Vaux-sur-Somme.
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 a popular European comic book character, the hero of an eponymous comic book series created by late Italian comic artist Hugo Pratt (1927-1995). Most stories are set near, during or just after World War I and follow Corto, a laconic sea captain and adventurer who often travels to exotic places around the world, but rarely gets anything out of it. The brutality of the world and this chaotic era is often depicted in these stories. Secret societies, mad warlords and other more behind-the-scenes players are met by Corto more often than he'd like. This movie is based on one of these stories. See more »
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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