In December 1941, The railway from Tianjin to Nanjing in East China became a key military transportation route, heavily guarded by Japanese soldiers. Ma Yuan, a railroad worker and his group of freedom fighters find themselves on the wrong side of the tracks when they decide to ambush a heavily armed military train filled with desperately needed provisions. Unarmed and outnumbered, they must rely on their wits to battle an entire army.Written by
Jackie Chan's son Jaycee appeared in this movie (though not as his son). At one point, both are arrested by the Japanese, who note how much they look alike, prompting a comic argument disputing this. See more »
Patriotic and Funny
I went to see RAILROAD TIGERS because Jackie Chan is in it... and found a nice mix of comedy and drama as an inept group of railroad thieves during the Second World War discovered they were Chinese first and out for themselves second.
I have been watching a goodly number of Chinese movies in the theaters over the last few years and have been impressed by the manner in which those movies mix and match elements from genres that, for more other national cinemas, seem impossible; a movie might start as a Noir caper, turn into a coming-of-age romance and mutate into a time-travel story. So, looking at RAILROAD TIGERS, I don't see much stretching. Service comedies began to penetrate the cinema with WHAT PRICE GLORY? in the 1920s; comedies in which thieves and con men discover a love of country so fierce that they are willing to die for it were handled well in the 1940s with MR. LUCKY; so this movie, which starts off as slapstick and ends in a desperate, deadly battle, is neither disrespectful nor unprecedented. It is simply well done, thanks to Mr. Chan and and a cast and crew that includes a fine performance by Kai Wang as the former warlord's soldier who finds his commitment to China in the face of Japanese oppression.
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