A world of unmatched cinematographic beauty opens itself and provides one of the most stunningly beautiful action films ever released.
Trademark mix of comedy and drama that brought fame to Xiaogang Feng, not in the least because of how different it was from other Chinese films at that time. Not a very remarkable film otherwise, but good fun nonetheless, with decent performances, a funny script and solid ending. Feng rarely disappoints.
Worthy but flawed
Early Xiaogang Feng that is surprisingly traditional. A Sigh a romantic drama featuring a lot of torn and broken characters. The love triangle is nothing new, neither is the execution. It's not bad, but I've come to expect more from Feng, plenty of others could've directed this film and the outcome would've been just the same.
A pretty disappointing film from Feng, which oddly mimics the kind of cinema he helped China to move away from some 20 years ago. Youth reminded me of a film Yimou Zhang could have made during the 90s, only without the natural grace and visual splendor that made Zhang's films stand out.
Youth follows Xiaoping, a young country bumpkin joining a military dance troupe in the hope of finding some respect and appreciation. It doesn't take long before the bullying starts though and when the war erupts she is sent to a frontline hospital to tend to the wounded soldiers. Unfazed, she accepts her destiny and becomes an overnight hero.
Visually I expected more from Feng. The film doesn't look bad, but there are few memorable moments, even though it's clear the budget wasn't lacking. Actors do a decent job, but there are no stand-out performances. It's the score that is by far the weakest element though. It's loud and saccharine, leaving a bitter aftertaste. While not terrible, Youth simple isn't good enough for a director like Feng.