Railroad Tigers (PG: some violence)
Starring Jackie Chan, Huang Zitao, Wang Kai Directed by Ding Sheng
The World War II action caper Railroad Tigers has Jackie Chan as a railroad porter in 1941 China ambushing a heavily armed Japanese military train to cut off enemy supplies. Huang Zitao’s tailor and Wang Kai’s noodle-shop owner sharpshooter are among his ragtag group of everyman freedom fighters.
The heroics of these “Railroad Tigers” are narrated as a legend with graphic illustration panels, and directed by Ding Sheng as an over-long romp that strains so very hard for lighthearted comedy from the insistently jaunty score to the slapstick antics.
It’s not as if Chan and the Chinese filmmaker Ding aren’t capable of heartfelt dramas like their 2010 Little Big Soldier, co-starring Wang Leehom, and Police Story 2013.
Even the acrobatic set pieces including a brawl in an explosives warehouse and another atop a train have been done better elsewhere by Chan. And the two uncredited ‘surprise’ star appearances add little, beyond the initial surprise. 2.5/5