The Last Tycoon (2012)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Critic Reviews for The Last Tycoon
The Last Tycoon is one of the most explosive films to come to DVD and Blu-ray this year, but it's a bit disappointing that it features two of Hong Kong's most iconic action stars without letting them put that on display as often as you'd like.
Audience Reviews for The Last Tycoon
I have never been afraid of anything in my life. Cheng Da Qi is tied to his master Hong Shou Ting as they came up through the Shanghai slums to build and empire that rules the gangs of Shanghai. Their rise has made them invincible but they hurt a lot of people upon their rise to power, especially females. They are now about to settle down when the city is about to be invaded by Japan. The police force, who are controlled by Cheng and his master, come to them and ask for their aid in defending the invasion. They decide to not help the police force but the invasion impacts them worse than they anticipated. The family becomes fractured and Cheng will need to fix it. "What's your name?" "I'll tell you if we both make it out alive." Jing Wong, director of The New Legend of Shaolin, God of Gamblers, City Hunter, Crying Heart, Set Up, Infernal Unfairs, and Last Hero in China, delivers The Last Tycoon. The storyline for this picture is very well done. I really enjoyed the action scenes and the cast delivers wonderful performances. The cast includes Chow Yun-Fat, Sammo Hung, Li Yuan, Monica Mok, and Kunjue Li. "I am laughing because someone in Shanghai still has the guts to threaten me." I found this on Netflix and added it to my queue and thankfully finally got around to seeing it. This isn't your classic Chow Yung Fat and Sammo Hung martial arts action picture. This is a gangster film more like SPL or Andy Lau films. I really enjoyed the intensity of the action scenes as well as how the drama ultimately unfolds. The fact that it's a true story is also compelling. I consider this a must see and a nice addition to your DVD collection. "Can I be your girl?" Grade: A
This is something like the Chinese version of James Cameron's Titanic. What I mean by that is that the film is divided into two parts. There's the romantic melodrama for the women, or those who may be inclined to enjoy such things, and the action for the men or, again, those who may be inclined to enjoy it. But to be perfectly honest, outside of some really corny and awfully sentimental moments, in a weird way, I think both of these elements come together fairly effectively. The film will remind crime film fans, in parts, of The Godfather Part 2, just the way the story is structured as you get to go back and forth between the present and the past, seeing how Cheng rose from to the top of his profession that he wouldn't have ever been a part off if not by one chance encounter with his cellmate. The more romantic aspects of the film, with the love triangle and what have you, reminds one of an old 40s romance starring Humphrey Bogart, for example. I don't that, at any point, this film ever really concerns itself with developing its own identity, it's content to borrow from other, classic films in order to weave its story. But, it doesn't feel so much as a ripoff, it honestly feels more like an affectionate tribute to these films. Of course the story of the Japanese occupation of Shanghai gives it own flavor but, stylistically and structurally, this borrows heavily from the classics. I will say that the production values themselves are top-notch. Some of the special effects themselves are pretty lame looking, like some of the explosions, but other, practical, explosions look absolutely impressive and would give Michael Bay a run for his money. The costume design is excellent and really does give off the feel of the era they were trying to convey. A lot of that is also cinematography, but the costume design certainly helps a lot. The action, for what it essentially a romantic drama at its emotional core, is actually surprisingly violent and bloody. While I didn't have much of a problem with this, it does feel kind of at odds with the rest of the film. With that said, I do think that the story of the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, plus Cheng's and Qui's plans to do something about it, with the entire romantic triangle plot around it all adds up to a pretty decent package. No one will ever mistake this film for one of the classics. But these very disparate elements come together in a fairly cohesive manner. One doesn't undercut the other and vice versa. I don't know what could've been done to make the romance a little less cheesy, sentimental, and melodramatic, but it works in the time period the story takes place in. Not much else I can say. It borrows heavily from other sources, but it's a pretty decent action/romance film. Acting's solid, action's bloody, melodrama is very melodramatic. What more can you ask for? Well, I mean, other than the film to be good. Acceptable watch if you've got Netflix, I wouldn't really spend money to watch this.
A spectacular film. An explosive mixture of action, politics, drama, suspense and romance. It echos of Casablanca. A masterpiece from Director, Wong Jing. One of the best movies he has ever made. A dazzling and action-packed thrill-ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Its gorgeously filmed and has an outstanding classic feel to it. A beautifully tasteful and tragic piece of work that has all bullets blazing. A heart-pounding and heart-breaking conclusion that you have to see. Chow Yun-Fat gives a tremendously riveting and tasteful performance. The king of action keeps his cool intact along with his deep emotional side. This movie shines like a classic.
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