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Action master returns with legendary tale of adventure


The Battle of Tiger Mountain is being released for the first time on DVD in Australia and New Zealand. The epic adventure from legendary Chinese action director Tsui Hark (Once Upon a Time in China) will be made available through Vendetta Films on November 18.

A big budget adaptation of Qu Bo's popular 1957 novel Tracks in the Snowy Mountain, the film dramatizes a key historical moment in the story of the People's Liberation Army following the conclusion of World War II. Set in the rugged cold climes of north-east China, The Battle of Tiger Mountain is concerned with the exploits of Yang Zirong (Zhang Hanyu) and Unit 203 in the wake of Japanese withdrawal. As Civil War breaks out across the country, bandits and marauders pillage the countryside the PLA and Kuomintang fight for political and military control of the nation. Tony Ka-Fai Leung is Hawk, a bandit who rules the expansive lands of wintry northeast region from a fortress on Tiger Mountain unaware that his ruthless mob has been infiltrated from within.

This spirited adaptation of events proceeding the Revolution is imbued with dynamic sequences, glorious photography and visual inventiveness having made use of 3D technology for its theatrical release. "The film's strength really lies in its thrilling pace," writes Maggie Lee in Variety, "and robust action, elaborately choreographed and executed to involve a large ensemble of characters in a gripping way. Indeed the characters are as memorable as the performances with strong contributions offered by Hanyu Zhang, Kenny Lin and Liya Tong.

"This lavish period piece contains enough thrills, spills and moments of cinematic grace that not only manage to push it through the rough spots but allow it to put most American action films of recent vintage to shame," observes Peter Sobczynski at James Marsh at Twitch Film agrees. "Brimming with energy, action and genuinely interesting events from Chinese history, Tsui Hark has delivered an unashamedly entertaining holiday romp."