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Review: 1911

Jackie Chan, deprived of his comic and physical skills, falls flat
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 5, 2011
1.5 1.5 Stars

This year marks the centenary of the Xinhai Revolution, which ended the Qing Empire, established the first Chinese republic, and is celebrated by Chinese on both the mainland and Taiwan as the beginning of national independence. Few in the West know about it, and are likely to be more confused by this bombastic, incoherent, though occasionally eloquent period epic co-directed by Jackie Chan and Zhang Li. Chan, deprived of his comic and physical skills, falls flat as General Huang Xing, who glowers in the mud and blood of battlefields while the leader of the revolt, Sun Yat-Sen (Winston Chao), schmoozes with bankers and ministers in Europe. What it all means is not clarified much by the intertitles, such as one that explains how, upon further research, the body count in one incident has been revised from 72 to 86. Now and then, however, the joie de vivre of Chan's martial arts masterpieces emerges and brings the history to life.

  Topics: Reviews , China, Jackie Chan, War,  More more >
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