Hei tai yang 731 si wang lie che (Men Behind the Sun 3: A Narrow Escape) (1994)
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Critic Reviews for Hei tai yang 731 si wang lie che (Men Behind the Sun 3: A Narrow Escape)
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Audience Reviews for Hei tai yang 731 si wang lie che (Men Behind the Sun 3: A Narrow Escape)
Third part in the Men behind the Sun takes a look at the closure of Unit 731 and features a somewhat fictional story about a soldier who threatens to contaminate Japan due to the fact that he contracted a virus during the experiments at Unit 731. I really didn't enjoy the film, and thought it was a boring movie that could have been done better. They tried to do something quite different here, but it just doesn't establish anything worth seeing. The film is just bland. There is no substance here to its story, and it fails in terms of historical drama filmmaking. This is an awful film that just doesn't have what it takes to make it standout in terms of what the first one was, a disturbing, unflinching, cruel look at the atrocities committed at Unit 731. With this one, they just try to tell the story in terms of giving a bit of fact, while blending in much more fiction. I just don't think that a topic such as this should be a fictional one. I think that the filmmakers should have stayed close to the facts, and it would have made for a better movie. This is yet another poorly conceived mess that is quite dull, and lacking anything really interesting. I'm a history buff, and I enjoy finding out about such things, but this didn't offer anything worth of "educational" purposes. This is just a misfire. I really was expecting something much better than this, but I was disappointed. Watch the original if you manage it, as it shows exactly what happened, but this, this is a different direction and it doesn't work.
Very boring and dull sequel, but at least we didn't get a rehash of the first film. This one follows on the story of the soldiers and scientists from the brutal Unit 731 as they flee the advancing Russian army. It's very tame compared to the first two movies with the gore coming courtesy of brief flashbacks from the previous film, so there's nothing new in that department. It's a reasonable effort overall, but quite tedious.
The third installment reverts to shortly after the 731 business is shutting down, and it's mostly about a train ride. I saw it with proper audio, and English subs, whereas the first and second films don't have that option. I don't know if it was due to the dubbing, but in comparison to Laboratory of the Devil, an exaggerated, unserious, campy film, A Narrow Escape has the serious dramatic vibe of the first film, only without the disturbing nature. Laboratory of the Devil with its cheesy trumpet score adds to the camp, whereas A Narrow Escape has seriously-toned background music (Which gets annoying). It's pure drama, dilemma, and self-analyzing in A Narrow Escape, but the eploitative scenes from the Laboratory of the Devil are slipped in, upsetting the balance. I think if it had the necessary budget, it could've been excellent. The purpose of the film is to apparently display the lengths to which a secret and morally bankrupt organization will go to protect its secrecy. The visuals aren't the fucked up part so much as the way it explains how racism and racial superiority condoned killing for the simplest of reasons.
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