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319 Film Review for “1911” staring Jackie Chan.
I was scanning through Jackie Chan films to see which would be a good one to view and I came across the film 1911 and the description said it was an “epic film,” which I mistakenly thought that meant it was a really good film. However, in 2 hours and five minutes I learned of my error. The description was about the Qing dynasty and so I thought it would be a good learning experience and I would get a chance to learn a little history, however this was not the case. Although the film description was totally in English, the entire film was in Chinese with subtitles. Not that subtitles with action movies are a deal breaker, however the film had 1, yes ONE action scene, which was not very impressive. The film starts out at the beginning of the 20th century and China is in a state of crisis. The country is split into warring factions, the citizens are starving, and recent political reforms have made matters worse, not better. The ruling Qing Dynasty, led by a seven-year-old emperor, and his ruthless mother, Empress Dowager Longyu (Joan Chen) is completely out of touch after 250 years of unquestioned power. Huang Xing (Jackie Chan) has recently returned from Japan, where he has studied the art of modern warfare. When he finds his country falling apart, he feels he has no choice but to pick up the sword, leading a desperate and violent rebellion against the powerful Qing Dynasty and the New Army. The costumes and the mis en scene were very elaborate and the film looks like it was quite expensive to make. The dialogue was weak, much of it unnecessary and failed to demonstrate the finer historical points of the film, so even if one spoke fluent Chinese, I think that the film would fail to meet expectations.