“Cliff Walkers”, the new photo from protean Chinese director Zhang Yimou, arrives here after a hiccup in his filmography.
“One Second” (2019), the sequel to his astonishing film “Shadow,” released in the United States the same year, was slated to compete at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival, but was withdrawn by the Chinese government in what much. are interpreted as an act of censorship.
It is likely that “Cliff Walkers”, dedicated to “All the heroes of the revolution”, passed unhindered through official channels. This spy thriller is set in the early 1930s, during the Japanese invasion and occupation of Manchuria and northern China, and portrays near-superheroes from its daring main characters , sometimes sacrificed.
The film is set and was shot in Harbin, a city in Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province, an area that suffered significant Russian influence during the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The snowy backdrops begin with a forest and extend to the city streets lined with unique architecture, where small gangs of black-clad spies chase each other on foot for a thrilling visual effect.
The cast, led by Zhang Yi and Liu Haocun as a seasoned and rookie agent, is appealing. The film’s multiple double and triple crossovers are likely to spark a boost, and they underscore how espionage is like theater.
The many pieces in the action set would be memorable even if the plot points didn’t eventually fall into place, which they do. The filmmakers’ treatment of Japanese war crimes is sharp; the film makes it clear that the wounds suffered by China have not been forgotten. Call it patriotism or nationalism, the director and cast really sell it, with a few blatant tears for the finale.
Unclassified. In Mandarin, with subtitles. Duration: 2 hours. In theaters. Please review the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before watching movies in theaters.