In December 1941, Japan expands the occupation of its neighboring countries to Southeast Asia. The railway from Tianjin to Nanjing in East China became a key military transportation route, heavily guarded by Japanese soldiers. Railroad worker Ma Yuan leads a team of freedom fighters. Using his deep knowledge of the train network, he and his men sabotage it, ambushing Japanese soldiers and stealing supplies to feed the starving Chinese. Although the freedom fighters have no weapons of their own, they employ whatever tools are at hand, including shovels, loose railway track planks and diverted trains. The local Chinese call the unlikely heroes the “Railroad Tigers”.
Cast & Credits
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.
I really love the cast in this drama. They did a great job casting, I thought the actors were so diverse (they all weren't pretty/kawaii, but there is a lot of eye candy). I also though the chemistry between all the actors was amazing. I bet it must have been amazing for all the young actors to work with Jackie. :D
Overall, great movie. The plot was great and interesting, the acting was good. There was a nice balance between seriousness & comedy. Also the fighting scenes were pretty intense, even with them using guns and a tank ON A TRAIN!!! The CGI at the end was sucky, but that was my only complaint.