Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (19)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (4)
| Rotten (15)
Kang Je-kyu's big-budgeted WWII melodrama offers up a kitschy, overtly violent tale about two rival marathon runners caught in a continent-hopping battle of blood, guts and bad dialogue.
[Director Kang Je-kyu] engineers one long pummel session of elaborate CGI effects, shaky battle cinematography and trial-by-fire heroics, but the nonstop adversity lacks any real sense of danger. Or, for that matter, emotional punch.
This is big-boned, epic filmmaking of a variety Cecil B. DeMille or D.W. Griffith would appreciate.
The paeans about national pride and brotherhood may be regional, but constant slow-motion battle scenes and squishy sentimentality are strictly wanna-be Tinseltown.
Just don't expect much in the plot department.
They should have spent more on the screenplay.
The film runs for almost two and a half hours and features some brutal scenes of combat, but the acting is fine and the locations, scouted for two years and shot over almost six months, are stunning.
In a movie that is so visually right -- from costumes to sets to effects -- it is highly disappointing to see the script go so wrong.
The twisty narrative resembles a trashy, brain-drained version of the Japanese mega-epic The Human Condition -- at a fifth the length -- that's been crossed with The Fox and the Hound.
The film's drama fails because it's underdone, but it's also undone by a soaring, swelling score and an overly strong nationalist agenda.
The story of two marathon runners... who play musical chairs with military uniforms in stumbling their way from China to Omaha Beach over the course of WWII... might well have been titled 'Chariots of Cliches.'
This nightmare just spirals around, epic though it may be.
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