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Saving General Yang Reviews

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April 5, 2013
A suprisingly engaging historic epic about a band of 7 brothers sent to rescue their betrayed general father on the battlefield. If the title is derivative of the Spielberg WWII film, it is a bit of a misnomer -- however the gory battle scenes do highlight the destructive nature of war, where there are no real winners. The meteoric catapult barrage was done to good effect, and one can really feel for each of the brothers, in their camaraderie, filial piety and self-sacrifice, to their parents, each other, and ultimately, nation.
April 8, 2014
So manches martialisches Schlachtenbild in Die Söhne des Generals Yang, rotgefärbte Kriegsflaggen die aus Blutlachen gezogen werden verbreiten ebenso ein Horror-Ambiente, wie die Silhouetten von zahlreichen aufgespießten Soldaten. Horror, müsste man sagen, damit kennt sich der aus Hong Kong stammende Regisseur Ronny Yu aus. Er durfte schon mehrmals außerhalb seines Landes wahre Legenden in Szene setzen, fiel damit allerdings meistens bei den Fans durch: Chucky und seine Braut mit der gruseligen Mörderpuppe, gar nicht mehr so gruselig, eher abstrus verliebt. Freddy vs. Jason, das Duell der Giganten, dass ebenso unnötig wie das Aufeinandertreffen der Alien-Spezies mit den Predatoren war.

Sein Film Die Söhne des Generals Yang basiert auf einer Sammlung von chinesischen Volkserzählungen über eine Militärfamilie aus den frühen Jahren der Song-Dynastie. Die Geschichten erzählen von der uneingeschränkten Loyalität und dem Mut, den die Yangs im Kampf für ihr Land beweisen, das sie vor feindlichen Militäreinheiten - den Khitan und den Tangut - beschützen, sogar bereit sind sich für ihre Überzeugung zu opfern. Bei Regisseur Yu geht es nun um General Yang Ye (Adam Cheng), der von den Khitan gefangen genommen wird. Zurück bleiben seine Frau und seine sieben Söhne, die natürlich nur die Rettung Yang Yes im Sinn haben. Geleitet vom jüngsten Sohn (Ekin Cheng), reiten die sieben Söhne gemeinsam mit einer kleinen Bande von Kriegern aus, um sich einer Armee zu stellen, die viele tausend Männer stärker ist als sie selbst.

Dabei entstehen natürlich manch große Kriegsszenen, die aber oftmals von einem überzogenen Spiel überlagert wird, dass man mögen muss, um sich dieser Geschichte anzunehmen. Da kommen nicht nur eine überschwängliche Mimik und Gestik zum Einsatz, auch die Dialoge weisen so manche triefende Theatralik auf. Selbst kleine romantische Zwischenspiele scheint Drehbuchautor Edmond Wong (in Zusammenarbeit mit Ronny Yu) noch etwas mehr als die schlimmste Hollywood-Romanze überzeichnen zu wollen. Wie man damit umgeht, unterliegt dem eigenen Ermessen. Entweder man fühlt sich zutiefst um wertvolle Lebenszeit beraubt, oder aber man lässt sich in eine cineastische Zeit zurückversetzen, in denen kitschige Low-Budget Eastern-Produktionen so etwas wie Kult darstellten. Dann nämlich könnte dieser Film durchaus als charmante Ehrerbietung vor dem Genre erscheinen.

Leider gibt es dann aber auch einen gravierenden Unterschied. Selbst in der damaligen Zeit wirkte der Eastern oftmals unfreiwillig (oder tatsächlich beabsichtigt) komisch. Die Darsteller schienen sich ihrer Rollen bewusst zu sein, die überzogenen Gesichtsakrobatiken wurden wie zu Stummfilmzeiten als Komikelemente verkauft. Das gelingt Ronny Yu hier nicht. Er nimmt sein Werk viel zu ernst, verliert vor lauter umbedeutsamen Figuren fast schon den Überblick über seine Arbeit. Weder lustig, noch mit interessanten Figuren ausgestattet, ist es - wenn wir von Ehrerbietung sprechen - eher eine mager in Szene gesetzte Verbeugung.
KevinRobbins
March 6, 2014
I demand the death of the whole family as punishment.

In AD 986 in North China a General is kidnapped from his command post due to a massacre he once caused. His wife and seven sons are left behind, including two sons who are more known for their punishments and failures than their combat ability. Of course, the sons set out to rescue their father, but they face impossible odds and they all can't survive...

"Your so called ally is a scheming rival."

Ronny Yu, director of Freddy vs Jason, Formula 51, Fearless, Bride of Chucky, The Bride with White Hair, China White, Warrior of Virtue, and Chasing Dragon, delivers Saving General Yang. The storyline for this picture is very interesting and well told. The action scenes are fairly epic and well done though a few fight scenes seems to rely a bit too much on CGI. The acting was solid and the cast includes Ekin Cheng, Ady An, Adam Cheng, and Raymond Lam.

"The promise I'm carrying is weightier than yours."

The storyline for this picture was better than I anticipated and this reminded me slightly of Warlords with Jet Li and Andy Lau. This wasn't quite as good as that picture, but pretty good, and I loved the battle scenes. Overall, this is a worthwhile picture if you're a fan of these martial arts epics. I recommend seeing this once.

"Let the old man taste suffering."

Grade: B-
February 16, 2014
A Flop of Epic Proportions!
July 28, 2013
a great entertainment of Chinese history based theme..what a cast throughout the whole film...i loved it...
September 30, 2013
unrealistic fighting scene, bad acting, mediocre plot . i watched this movie while i was in flight. only finished for one hour and not feel to finished this movie. no wonder this film ( i heard ) surprising Flop, with many eye candies. i don't know People still love movie with CGI and Fighting only nowadays.
September 21, 2013
a story based out of the Chinese folklore tales of Generals of the Yang family. Bravery and Loyalty are two key components of the folklore tale and seen in some aspect in the film. Revenge was the secondary motive, both internal and external. The acting was mediocre to say the least, the action was pretty intense. All and all, it's a good watch for those who love folklore based tales on the silver screen.
Takeshi
August 10, 2013
The action sequences were great but didn't live up to expectations. Too much drama got in the way.
August 1, 2013
I would rate this average. I have seen the original series made in Hong Kong and that was 10 times more epic with more character development of each brother. They did get some parts right, but some parts just blew it. If you want a better "Yang Saga" check out the one made in 1985.
July 19, 2013
Saving General Yang is the best Chinese movie I have ever seen, it is based on a true story and it has not the happy ending you where rooting for but it has the movie ending a good movie deserve. I like it very much and I admire the film maker for making it.
April 27, 2013
Doesn't do the source material justice. Bland and uninspired from start to finish.
April 24, 2013
With seven brothers in all, it's no wonder the perfunctory script can't differentiate between them. Still, most of the action sequences are rousing, especially a guerilla-style battle in the middle.
April 17, 2013
I know it's a story about heroic attempt to save their father and how they delivered their promise tho their mom. It's a simple story but at least they are honorable. I enjoyed the film.
April 13, 2013
Saving General Yang is a straightforward retelling of the legendary Yang family story, where seven sons of General Yang promised their mother to rescue and bring their father home from the Khitans. Those who knows the history of the Yang family should know how the tragic story ends.The film lacks emotional resonance; the characterisation of the brothers are shallow and most audience might have trouble to identify which brother is which until the fighting starts, where each of the brothers utilizes different set of skill during battle. Most of the action sequences filled with 'slow-mo' effect, which is annoying.However, the film shows the destructive nature of war as the battle scenes are gory and filled with death.The film manages to flesh out its themes of bravery, loyalty, filial piety, humanity & justice which the Yang family supposed to personify during the battles. 3/5
April 8, 2013
Was afraid that this would turn out to be one of those boy band kinda movies.

I was wrong.

The story was nothing special, the starting premise is kinda lame but as it moves along it is surprisingly effective at making 1 emotional.

I also like that even though they were portrayed as being highly skilled (like most chinese period movies...), they were not indestructible and godlike, but fallible..and human,
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