Railroad Tigers: A goofy timepass Chinese movie
Cast : Jackie Chan, Fan Xu, Wang-Da Lu, Alan Ng
Director : Ding Sheng
Somewhere between silly and satirical. That’s where the bar lies for Jackie Chan’s Railroad Tigers. Playing in India almost five months after its original Chinese release, Railroad Tigers is a fun ride – one that you can’t help but laugh along with, especially if you’re the kind of person who enjoyed all those dubbed Chinese films that used to play on TV back in the day.
Packed with gags, ridiculously exaggerated stunt sequences and characters that have a knack of making you laugh even when they’re doing a serious scene, Railroad Tigers chugs along happily with only a couple of song sequences that mar the flow.
Chan, who for some odd reason looks younger and happier in Chinese films, plays Ma Yuang, a railroad docker who moonlights as a rail robber along with a ragtag bunch. Their only targets are the Japanese soldiers who have occupied East China and have executed several people in the region, including Chan’s wife. After a chance encounter with a wounded soldier on a mission to blow up a crucial bridge, a move that will give the Chinese Army a huge tactical advantage, they decide to go from robbing soldiers to blowing up a bridge. The only people in their way are a weirdly stiff lady Japanese military officer and a violent, yet funny as nuts, colonel who terrorises his troops. Chan and company schmooze, shimmy, jump, scam and scamper their way towards the bridge with a load of explosives.
After a series of films that were a less-than-hollow stab at recreating Jackie Chan’s bygone Hollywood magic, Railroad Tigers is a refreshing film. Not a particularly great one – but eminently watchable at the very least.