Railroad Tigers (2016) Poster

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4/10
Gets Too Drawn Out
larrys321 June 2017
Jackie Chan leads a motley crew of Chinese resistance fighters, called the Tigers, against their Japanese occupiers. Their main mission will be to sabotage and blow up a railroad bridge that is a vital Japanese supply route.

Although some of the slapstick comedy works at times, I felt the movie was severely hampered by very drawn out action sequences that become quite tedious. In my opinion, this could have been a better film with a 90 minute running time, instead of being over 2 hours.

All in all, this movie, directed by Ding Sheng, just meanders way too much and loses focus. Therefore, the rather low rating on my part.
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6/10
Too much slapstick and too little character work turns this celebration of wartime heroism into a farcical war comedy - and renders Jackie Chan largely inconsequential
moviexclusive23 December 2016
If you've seen 'Little Big Soldier' or 'Police Story 2013', you'll know better than to expect Jackie Chan's third collaboration with Mainland filmmaker Ding Sheng to be a martial arts showcase of the former's acrobatic stunts. And sure enough, despite being billed as 'a Jackie Chan action-comedy blockbuster', 'Railroad Tigers' is really an ensemble piece set against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of East China in the early 1940s. Based upon true events, Chan plays a humble railroad worker named Ma Yuan who leads a ragtag team from his village to blow up a critical transportation route across the Hanzhuang bridge for the Japanese to send supplies to their troops at the frontlines.

Once again assuming both writing and directing duties, Ding Sheng keeps the premise appealingly simple. Not content to toil for the invading Japanese in their respective jobs, Ma Yuan and his fellow railroad workers as well as a bunch of other working-class village folk take to robbing them every now and then – indeed, it is in the midst of one such daring midday robbery of a passenger train carrying a group of Japanese soldiers and their pillages that the members of the titular ragtag team are introduced via title cards. An Eighth Route army soldier Daguo (Darren Wang) stumbles into Ma Yuan's humble but cosy village house one night while evading capture by the Japanese, the former recounting how his platoon had tried but failed to detonate the aforementioned bridge. Upon his recovery, Daguo insists on returning to his platoon. Alas, Daguo fails to make it back before being shot by the Japanese, so Ma Yuan decides to assemble the team to complete his assignment – and in so doing, realises their collective hopes of 'doing something big' or '干票大 的'.

Though his previous movies seemed to demonstrate his predilection for character-driven storytelling, Ding Sheng is all out for visual spectacle here, structuring his narrative around a series of extended action sequences– the opening train robbery is an ambitious start that also sets a playful tone, followed by a raid on the armoury warehouse at Shaguo station to procure the explosives needed to blow up the bridge, then a heroic attempt to rescue Ma Yuan and his associate Rui (Jaycee Chan) imprisoned by the Japanese in a square metal cell on board another moving train, and last but not least the loudest, longest and undeniably overblown (pardon the pun) setpiece to hijack a Japanese military transport locomotive intended as the very 'bomb' itself. In between are scenes meant to emphasise the camaraderie between the ragtag team of revolutionaries, arguably too short and too sparse for any individual character – except Ma Yuan and Rui – to make much impression.

That said, 'Railroad Tigers' probably bears the least character work among all of Ding Sheng's movies so far. Ma Yuan's status as leader seems premised solely on his age and paternal instincts, and other than hinting at a slow-burn romance with the village pancake seller Auntie Qin, there is little else that defines him. The same goes for the other railroad workers Rui and Dagui (Ping Sang) as well as the other members of the 'Tigers' – amateur tailor Dahai (Huang Zitao), handywoman Xing'er (Xu Fan) and serial pickpocketer San Laizi (Alan Ng). Because Chan plays Ma Yuan low-key and unassuming, it is former warlord bodyguard Fan Chuan (Wang Kai) who steals his thunder whenever the latter is on screen, putting his sharpshooting skills to good use especially during shootouts with the Japanese. Next to the Tigers, the Japanese are defined by the cocky military police captain Yamaguchi (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi), his stern no-nonsense female colleague Yuko (Zhang Lanxin) and to a lesser extent the bumbling station master Sakamoto (Kôji Yano). With the sheer number of characters, it is not difficult to see why there is little time to develop any of them, such that each becomes known by and large by his or her relation to the unfolding narrative.

Like we said earlier, the action takes centrestage, interspersed now and then with slapstick gags that do not always hit the mark. Chan's good-natured goofiness is still amusing, but the humour borders on childish at times, and undercuts the build-up of dramatic tension especially during the supposedly tense and dangerous situations. In fact, an extended gag that sees Yamaguchi consume not one but two drugged pancakes prepared by Auntie Qin which causes him fall asleep while the Tigers act to rescue Ma Yuan and Rui as well as turn lecherous against the male deputy station master held for interrogation is downright farcical – besides raising suspicions of the filmmakers' disdain towards the Japanese, it also diminishes the intended display of bravery of the Tigers.

It doesn't matter that 'Railroad Tigers' contains next to none of Jackie Chan's death-defying stunts; in fact, true fans of the martial arts actor should be happy that his films are not solely defined by how high he jumps or how far he leaps. Oh no, Ding Sheng's latest collaboration with Chan is underwhelming because it seems no more than an excuse for the former to live out his childhood fantasies of trains in a big-budget motion picture, disguising his fancies under a purported celebration of the heroism of a group of ordinary civilians displayed in the anti-Japanese war effort. Ironically, his latest film could have benefited with more of the self-seriousness in 'Police Story 2013' (which was accused of being too sombre), instead of letting the often foolish and even self-indulgent humour to dilute the action and drama. Ding's inspiration is also the Hollywood Westerns of trains and train heists, and on that level alone, 'Railroad Tigers' is certainly watchable; but for a Jackie Chan movie, it is undeniably disappointing, not least because Chan doesn't even get to do much beyond appearing next to his son and/or a whole bunch of other Mainland actors.
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7/10
Patriotic and Funny
boblipton6 January 2017
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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4/10
Another disappointment for Jackie
Leofwine_draca24 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
RAILROAD TIGERS is another Jackie Chan action comedy made on the Chinese mainland. It was directed by Sheng Ding, who previously directed Jackie in LITTLE BIG SOLDIER (his best pairing with the star) and POLICE STORY: LOCKDOWN. The quality is about on par with the latter film, as this is a somewhat aimless production that lacks basic directorial abilities: the music is non-exciting and never fits what's taking place on screen, and the comedy simply isn't funny.

Ding is a man all about style, whether it's incessant CGI shots of trains or the silly animated introductions for each character. The film is so spoon-fed that screens have to come up to tell you what's happening next. Chan is okay, but he feels like a supporting act here and he doesn't get to fight either. The usual modern-day gamut of CGI and wires are used to portray the stunts. Jaycee Chan appears to play Jackie's son, and comes across as a simpleton here, while Japanese villain Hiroyuki Ikeuchi (of IP MAN fame) is too good to be appearing in this dross. The ultra-boring first hour is the worst part of the production, and things at least pick up for the cheesy action of the extended, laboured, train battle climax.
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Disappointing Jackie Chan vehicle
Wizard-830 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I won't pretend to have seen every Jackie Chan movie out there, but I've seen all the ones he made at his peak in the 1980s and 1990s. I think that if this particular one had been made during that period, it would have turned out a lot better. For one thing, Chan only gets into ONE fight sequence in this film, and it's far from being exciting. (Though maybe this was inevitable, given Chan's now advancing age.)

As it turns out, very little of the other action in the movie, from shoot-outs to fisticuffs, manages to be all that interesting. There is no breakneck pacing, no feeling of great tension or struggle that was found in Chan's earlier movies. Instead, all the action comes across as labored and sluggish. In fact, there are some lengthy sections of this overlong (over two hours in length) movie that are kind of boring.

Other complaints I had about the movie range from there being too many characters to unfunny bouts of slapstick comedy. Everything added together makes for one big disappointing movie. Stick with Chan's older movies instead.
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5/10
Mediocre movie
phanthinga1 March 2017
A good Jackie Chan movie is about the slapstick action scene and the death defying stunt works and this movie have some of it but the rest is pretty disappointed.Directed by Ding Sheng who you may familiar with movie like:Little Big Solder(his best works yet) and Police Story Lockdown.Railroad Tigers is one again a action war comedy movie staring Jackie Chan as the leader of a bunch of railroad worker fighting again The Japanese in China 1941.With a plot sound very historic and epic the movie we got is a slow pacing movie over 2 hours full of dull character when they make unfunny jokes and bad decision left to right both from the good guys to bad guys.The horrible CGI train robbery to weird movie jump cut scene through out the movie almost make this unwatchable but thank to Jackie Chan movie charm on screen,a couple of good stunt work and a epic shootout scene in the finale saving this this movie from becoming a disaster
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8/10
Unfairly underrated Chinese western epic with explosive ingredients
kluseba19 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I'm glad I didn't trust the numerous negative reviews of Railroad Tigers and decided to purchase the film. This epic war movie convinces with a set of sympathetic characters, a vivid pace and flow, stunning settings, spectacular sound and visual effects and an intriguing story partially inspired by historic events.

The film includes an atmosphere reminding me of old American westerns with train robberies in isolated places, incorporates a few martial arts sequences that contrast the shooting duels and instills a few humorous elements that are though never getting annoying as they focus on situation comedy rather than misplaced slapstick moments. Railroad Tigers is entertaining from start to finish and makes you want to experience the whole film again once the vivid roller coaster ride is over. Despite its length above two hours, not one single minute is wasted here.

As a matter of fact, there were so many characters with intriguing background stories such as the charismatic leader of the Railroad Tigers or the resilient noodle shop owner, that the film could have easily been even half an hour longer without getting boring. Even though a few characters weren't perfectly fleshed out, antagonists and protagonists were intriguing enough to stimulate potential spin-offs. The closing scene of the film hints at a potential sequel which would be very welcome in my book.

Railroad Tigers got some unfair criticism for promoting communist propaganda which is completely exaggerated. The film features a communist soldier fleeing from Japanese troops who has about ten minutes of screen time and doesn't look too heroic and the final battle concludes with an ambush of arriving communist troops that might get five minutes of screen time but that's all. The film truly focuses on a group of railroad workers who are attempting to destroy a strategically important bridge to stop Japanese supplies to conquer the northern parts of China. The film doesn't include any obvious political propaganda and rather underlines values like courage and friendship. Other critics claimed that the Japanese weren't portrayed accurately in this film and even suggested that the movie might be slightly disrespectful or racist. Once again, this is nonsense since the film shows two quite dangerous Japanese antagonists, a brutal male military and a determined female investigator who aren't easily fooled but rather never give up and fight back until the very end. Other people criticized the film for being one of Jackie Chan's most disappointing films but along with the sinister The Foreigner, this film is the best he has made since 2011 and easily beats more shallow family entertainment in the key of Chinese Zodiac and Kung Fu Yoga. I would even consider this movie a late career highlight by Asia's most famous actor of all times.

In the end, the epic Railroad Tigers is an unfairly underrated war movie that will entertain you from start to finish with its explosive mixture of intense action sequences, character development, historic inspiration, humorous elements and western atmosphere. Some of the fight scenes are slightly grisly as some blood is shown and as the body count is quite elevated, so I would rather recommend this film to older teenagers and adults since this isn't your typical Jackie Chan movie for the whole family.
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8/10
Watch it with a light heart
blinkable31 May 2018
One is never too late for a Jackie Chan's movie, especially a comedy action movie of his. First of all, the way the story plot being presented is very straight forward like, literally doing a presentation with sub-titles of what to expect in the scenes as we go along. It's clean cut in such a way and you won't feel any interruptions. And with the theme on, 'let's do something big in this lifetime' coming out from average railroad workers, you know you are going to be in for rides filled with laughters. The bgm matched well with the scenes and helped to raise the dramatic-ness from the comedic aspects.

To me, the most crucial point of this movie fell on the good chemistry among the quite star-studded casts. They matched each other so well in their rhythms and one can really feel their comrades and brotherhood, which at times really what made their actions/sayings funny. There were many times that I was really laughing my heads off and I knew this movie is such feel-good humor movie worth watching. I like how Jackie Chan was not a one-man show in this movie and helped to bring out the acting skills of others casted in this movie through their interactions. In fact, it was an eye opening for me to see Wang Kai with his supposedly 'cool-I-know-what-I'm-doing-in-war' Fan Chuan character turned out to be a hilarious character with his constant 'rational' thinking. Another hilarious character akin to Fan Chuan was the Japanese Captain played by Ikeuchi Hiroyuki, which I see in the movie as to now wonder why he and Fan Chuan 'battling' it out the most.

I got to admit that my initial thought before I started to watch this movie was half expecting it to be typical China-produced war era movie, focusing much on patriotism. However, despite this movie having its patriotic moment, it wasn't shove down the audience throat like the usual ones. The feeling of "patriotism" (wanting for the freedom fighters to win despite their average tricks and fighting skills) was somewhat built into me as I watched the progress of how desperate this group of average men, dreaming of doing big things as they kept putting it in the movie, wanted to help the army to blow up the bridge.

I am not the type who rewatch but if I ever do catch this movie on TV or something, I won't mind rewatching just for the laughters.
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4/10
Not a typical jackie Movie
nicholls_les22 June 2017
All I can really say about this movie is that it is OK of a bit long. It is watchable and has some good moments but it could have been so much better. This is not a typical Jackie Chan movie but then not many of his later ones are. We have to appreciate that Mr Chan is getting older I suppose and can't be the martial arts genius we are used to but he is still a good comedic, slap stick actor and there is some of this in this movie.

I just felt the story was a good one and could have been much better had it been directed to move at a faster pace. Instead it got a bit tedious and boring in places.
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8/10
Extremely entertaining.. Criminally underrated...
chanishaj-2637717 December 2017
An action/comedy/war/drama film with a heart and actually funny moments, dialogues and acting.. Laughed out loud many times..

Don't know who rated it this low, probably the people who think comedies should have sex to be funny...

Extremely entertaining.. Criminally underrated...

7.5+/10
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4/10
Not at all gripping; slapstick; not engaging
KaisiXiansheng1 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
If I cannot bring myself to finish a movie, I count it as a bad movie. I've watched a lot of Chinese movies, and this one stands out in that it didn't draw me in at all. I watched about a half hour before I finally gave up at the death scene of that injured 八路 soldier. In a well-made movie, this kind of movie would theoretically provide some purpose and drive to the action that follows, but even with his blood dripping onto Jackie Chan's face, I felt no impact whatsoever. It feels like an episode of a kids' TV show that doesn't know if it wants to stay slapstick or get serious.
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9/10
Actually pretty good
altakev10 June 2017
I'm not a movie critic. Just a standard movie watcher lackey, and I found this movie a lot of fun. It's story line intertwines between a classical action film with Jackie Chan in it and a good war/history film. But most of the reviews are true. The classical Jackie Chan moves, and the classical Chan comedy - there is all of that in the action scenes, but not at the quantity one will expect. You must note one thing here - this is part a history, part an action, part a war movie, and for me every aspect of it was just the amount that I've needed to find it hilarious and to be on the edge throughout the whole movie!
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4/10
Sparks of Life
benjicaunce-1964717 April 2019
Railroad Tigers has a few moments where it is blissfully reminiscent of the glory days of Jackie Chan at the height of his power, but these moments are few and far between, and are smothered by an unfocused story and ever shifting tone.
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7/10
Not the best chan but not so bad
drali-8718128 January 2021
I watched this movie with very low expectation. It was not hollywood big budget movie and not so much dramatization. It was a simple story about few freedom fighters but showed in a very lighter way (Jackie Chan way). Not much stunts and action sequences by the legend Jackie Chan but his presence is still enough. If you had high expectations and think there would have been something new then don't watch it but if you just watch it as a Jackie Chan fan or chinese movie fan , you won't be disappointed. My recommendation is one time watchable with few laughters and few surprises.
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2/10
Prepare to be disappointed if you expect action and comedy
cutebertms26 February 2017
First of all, this is just a china propaganda movie. They want to "educate" viewers some battle fought by the communist Eighth Route Army (八路军) on a fictional bridge. The plot is rather empty and no reason was given why that bridge has to be destroyed... (maybe i missed it in the dialog but it should be trivial for the war).

Next is how they portray the Japanese soldiers. All of them act without much intellect, and this make the movie one-sided and extremely boring for a action movie.

Not much for comedy part, maybe the cowardice of the Japaneses might capture a few laugh....
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7/10
Entertaining
earle_etc-691932 July 2018
I have seen this movie twice. The tempo of the plot seems to be a little jerky, but, the plot is followable and enjoyable. If the viewer is looking for a well written smooth story be prepared for disappointment. The main thing this movie has is entertainment. It is humerous with lottsa Jackie Chan action. Try it. You will like it.
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7/10
I like comedy, but there's too much comedy.
avidcritic2313 June 2018
I'm a huge fan of the goofy, slapstick comedy Hong Kong movies use to be funny. The first half hour of the movie delivers a lot of funny moments that keep me cracking up. But later into the movie, the whole comedic tone was too much to the point where the vibe wasn't set right, like there needed to be dramatic scenes or any serious moment to strengthen the story.

Also, I love that this isn't a usual Jackie Chan movie that presents Jackie Chan punching and kicking like almost all of his movies. Instead, Railroad Tigers is presented as an actual action movie with stunts and shootouts. It's great to take a break from Jackie Chan's fighting scenes once in a while.

For those who want endless laughter, go ahead and watch this movie. For those who want the story to be more emphasized, this isn't the movie to watch.
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2/10
It's partially funny and enjoyable
tescoisaac17 December 2018
I watched the movie coz of Jackie Chan and I think its partially funny and enjoyable.
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1/10
Havent liked Jackie Chan in YEARS his movies have become comedies because they're a JOKE!!!
joiningjt23 April 2022
It's a shame Jackie was so ground breaking he had that rare combination of bruce Lee and Charlie Chaplin and you could see both influences in his performances but somehow he forgot that and went to China and decided to just make slap stick foolish comedies with mediocre everyday amateur martial arts even karate kid is better!! This is another example dont know why I even bother it's a shame his movies went from some of my favourites to easily the WORST!! Not sure if it's also age or just plain being lazy he cant need the money so just retire!! Tony Jaa is the next Martial artist to watch he has that It factor!! That combination of martial arts AND charisma!!
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8/10
Fun and funny but too long.
ritera112 November 2021
Warning: Spoilers
It wandered too much.

I have to come to the reality that Jackie can't do the Jackie of years past. There was some good but conventional action sequences for awhile but the urgency of the plot didn't come up for at least a hour.

The sequence where they stole the explosives was good, along with the long final act. Interesting to see Jackie's son, too.
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4/10
Disappointing
OMTR2 February 2022
An action comedy that is a major disappointment, because it lives up to neither its cast led by Jackie Chan nor its subject - The colonial crimes of Japanese imperialism in China.
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4/10
Disappointing
OMTR2 February 2022
Warning: Spoilers
An action comedy that is a major disappointment, because it lives up to neither its cast - Jackie Chan - nor its subject - The colonial crimes of Japanese imperialism in China.
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4/10
Boring Chinese comedy
Erik_Stone2 February 2022
Maybe some of the jokes would be funnier if I could understand the Chinese language, but the jokes don't seem to come through in the English subtitles.

It's just not funny. It's plodding as well.
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7/10
Jackie Chan is back
hakra131 May 2021
Finally a nice Jackie Chan movie, that reminds on the old days and let forget the so many bad movies he has done in the last decade. This one is funny, full of action, with a good cast including a cameo of andy lau. Even more enjoyfull speaking chinese and some japanese, so I recommand to watch in original, because much more fun. Also great to see jackie acting together with his son. Could be about 15 minutes shortes, but still nice jackie-movie.
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9/10
Absolute Enjoyment
pl-5571631 March 2022
First of all, I love Jackie Chan movies. And, this movie was no exception to his action scenes and sense of humor. My family was frozen to the TV watching it, laughing out loud. If you want to see a good, clean movie with comedy than this is "Your" movie!
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