1911 Revolution Blu-ray review

Starring: Jackie Chan, Bingbing Li, Joan Chen,
Directors: Jackie Chan, Li Zhang
Language: Chinese
Studio: Well Go USA
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Run Time: 99 minutes

  Factual as 1911 Revolution is, it isn’t a film about the reasons behind the Chinese Revolution of 1911. We aren’t given examples for the dedication the people feel for this cause, and in some ways it is not necessary. This is a film about the revolution, and it drops us right into the fray. From the very beginning of the film there is an urgency to the revolution, with starving citizens turning into a warring faction of Chinese society. The Qing Dynasty is led by a seven-year-old emperor, and the people begin to openly rebel against the tyranny of the powerful army sent out to crush those in opposition.

            1911 Revolution is a film which darts along in the plot, skipping from one significant event to the next. This requires an ensemble of characters, and we don’t get to know very much about any individual. The one exception is Huang Xin (Jackie Chan), one of the men considered for the role of China’s first president once the revolution had worked. After spending time in Japan studying the art of modern warfare, Huang returns to his home country to find it ravaged by the revolution, though he takes no pause in considering which side to join.

            There is a reason that the character development is kept minimal, and it is due to the strength of another aspect of the film. From the production design to the costumes, and certainly within the script, 1911 Revolution is historically accurate above all else. This means that there are not many scenes in which emotions are guessed into the dialogue, but what we do see was likely to have actually happened.

            The Blu-ray includes deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and interviews, which include the Hong Kong press conference. The Collector’s Edition Blu-ray also includes a DVD, but the real highlight is the high definition presentation of the film. All of the work in the sets and costume design can be seen in detail, and the power of the battlefields can also be properly experienced with 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio.



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