The City of Violence is an action packed movie that runs high octane throughout. Much of the action is so over-the-top that it’s exciting and effectively entertaining. This is due to the carefully orchestrated and choreographed martial-arts / fighting sequences. Think of martial-arts pro Jung Du-hong in The City of Violence as similar to Donnie Yen‘s abilities in his wushu movies. Think of this movie as “grand” like Kill Bill.
Aside from overpopulated and outnumbered combats that set the stage for pockets of violence and blood-shed, there is some other substance in the movie. Its essentially an action-crime-drama shebang that takes a pick at the gang / friendship genre. The themes of friendship and righteousness parallel to movies like Friend and Fate. The ultimate showdown delivers as expected as per the climactic nature of the story.
The Road Home is a soft drama and timeless romance which garnered positive reviews and recognition for its visual style and lead actress’ performance. Zhang Ziyi‘s outstanding performance also happened to be her cinematic debut, she received further attention from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon the following year. The Road Home is a beautiful humanistic film and a Chinese masterpiece in storytelling.
“Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback. ” (IMDb)
This is an ideal love story / falling in love film to watch for anyone inclined to the genre. “The Road Home is the story of a country girl and a young teacher falling in love, and the teacher’s death many years later that brings their son back from the big city for the funeral” (Wiki). It’s as adventurous and spiritual as it is careful and loving.
The story is based on a novel, Remembrance, written by Bao Shi who also adapted the screenplay. Zhang Yimou is once again noted for his excellence in direction for The Road Home by way of emotional and endearing undertones, subtle and gentle cinematography, and an overall presentation that is equally heart-warming as it is heart-wrenching. One of his other cinematic wonders that is a personal favourite is House of Flying Daggers.