Jackie’s 100th film. A fantastic piece of film making and excitingly shot. Jackie shows he is an excellent actor and he gives his best performance yet as do all the other principles. The Chinese landscape, battles and towns are all superbly captured with spectacularly involved action scenes so I can confirm that the production values are very high.
But. It feels more like a dramatised documentary (these are actual events that began the setup to the China we know today) and there are pieces of text in very small letters that pop up now and again to give you background to the scenes you’ve been watching. For me, the subtitles distracted and detracted from the gorgeous depth of the world being filmed, and I do mean depth. I had to stop the DVD quite a lot to try to piece together what was happening and why; in some cases rewinding a scene to put the subtitles, the story and the on screen elements together.
Maybe a second viewing is in order but 1911 feels like a long film. Perhaps it’s me that doesn’t have the brains for this stuff but on the other hand it’s also me doing the review so nyah, nyah to all that.
So, to sum up: Stupendously well made, brilliant performances, a good piece of history telling, well worth watching but a bit of a challenge for those with sight problems or who expect a straight piece of story telling.
DVD Extras: Quite a lot of scenes and making of those scenes, also the Hong Kong press conference with Jackie, Winston and Li Bingbing. Ok stuff for Jackie/Chinese film making fans but could be a bit of a slog.
Watch if on TV?
Snog, Marry, Avoid?
Avoid unless you like movies a lot. I wouldn’t recommend it although I’m glad I stayed the course. It’s just too long and a bit confusing due to the on screen texts.