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Thursday, October 13, 2011

1911 Revolution Movie Review By: Beevers

1911 Revolution Movie Review
By: Beevers

The film 1911 is about the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and the founding of the Republic of China. It stars Jackie Chan in what is billed as his 100th film. Chan also co-directs the film and is the executive producer. Save your money…That is all you really need to know about this movie.

At the beginning of the 20th century, China is in a state of crisis. The country is split into warring factions, the citizens are starving, and recent political reforms have made matters worse, not better. The ruling Qing Dynasty, led by a seven-year-old emperor and his ruthless mother, Empress Dowager Longyu (Joan Chen), is completely out of touch after 250 years of unquestioned power.

With ordinary citizens beginning to revolt openly, the Qing Dynasty has created a powerful, modern army (the “New Army”) to quash any rebellion. But weapons are expensive, and desperate for cash, the Qing leaders are trading anything they can get their hands on with foreign countries… and selling China’s future in the process. Huang Xing (Jackie Chan) has recently returned from Japan, where he has studied the art of modern warfare. When he finds his country falling apart, he feels he has no choice but to pick up the sword, leading an increasingly desperate series of violent rebellions against the powerful Qing Dynasty and the New Army- several with tragic consequences. From the walls of the Forbidden City to the battlefields of China, with no expense spared in production and no detail ignored in its quest for historical accuracy, 1911 is a true epic in every sense of the word.

The movie is mostly in Chinese with a few scenes in English. Usually subtitled movies are not an issue for me, I get so into the movie that I even forget I am reading the subtitles. However, in this film the subtitles were difficult to read and I just could not get into the film. It took me multiple tries to watch the whole film because I kept falling asleep.

Actor Winston Chao (left) as Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (right)

Perhaps if you were a China history buff or know the basics of the Chinese Revolution of 1911 you would find this movie worth watching. One of the many problems for those of us who know nothing of this time in China ’s history is the movie provides little back history and frequently jumps around between stories making it difficult to follow. The individual characters are not developed making it difficult to remember who is who and were they fall into the overall story.

Actor Sun Chun as Yuan Shikai

I would only give this film 4 out of 10 sandwiches and that is because I really like Jackie Chan otherwise it would closer to a 2.

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