Movie: *** 1/2 out of 5
Video: **** 1/2
Extras: *** 1/2
Article first published on Blogcritics.
If anyone can at least claim consistency with his performances, it’s
Jackie Chan. His films on the other hand, are definitely hit-or-miss.
One thing that’s not hard to believe is that the man has 136 acting
credits on IMDB and can still kick some butt when he wants to. With only
the most subtle signs of slowing down, Chan brings his hilariously
elegant kung fu shenanigans to director Ding Sheng’s Railroad Tigers
with all of his trademark charisma — and son — in tow. It may not be
his best work, but it is one of his best films in quite a few years.
Well Go USA continues to bring their 50GB-disc A game after years of
slapping what could have been excellent transfer on single-sided 25GB
discs. Railroad Tigers is no exception. Full of razor-sharp
detail with scenes featuring some amazing depth, the time period is
brought to life in all its dust and glory. Fast moving scenes never
suffer from judder, blacks never crush, colors never bleed, contrast is
realistic, while skin tones are completely natural. Banding also never
rears its ugly head. Even the individual character title cards don’t
suffer from aliasing.
The Mandarin DTS:X track (DTS-HD 7.1 for those of us without the
additional speaker setup) is exceptional as well. With some fun moments
of full surround speaker usage, it puts you right in the middle of the
action. Trains blow by with exact directionality, while dialogue is
never drowned out. Moments of heavy bass will also give your equipment a
good workout. Music and sound is put to full use as well. Additional
audio tracks include Mandarin Dolby Digital 2.0, English 5.1 DTS and 2.0
Dolby Digital, and a DTS:X headphone feature. English subtitles are
In traditional Well Go USA fashion, the special features can be
accessed individually, but are a play all affair once started. Included
is a “Director’s Featurette” (2:53), “The Dangers of Shooting” (2:37), a
good length “The Making of” (21:21), “VFX Featurette” (3:55), “The
Characters” (3:11), along with the “Trailer” (1:17), and “International
Trailer” (1:06). Trailers for Kung Fu Yoga (another Chan vehicle), Operation Mekong, and Cold War II follow the special features and are also front-loaded upon disc start up. They really want you to know these are available!
Railroad Tigers may not attempt to be the be-all-end-all Chan
film, the man is far removed from his glory days of the ’80s and ’90s.
But, it’s a lot of fun for those who still get a kick out of watching
Chan work his magic. And it’s always interesting to watch the Jackie
Chan Stunt Team come up with new ways for him to stay at the top of his
game. Thankfully, Railroad Tigers features excellent video and
spectacular audio, even if the film itself is pretty much exactly what
you’d expect. With an elongated behind-the-scenes featurette and the
aforementioned A/V, Railroad Tigers is a great addition to Chan’s
legacy. It may not be a new classic, but it gets the job done. And
sometimes, that’s all you can hope for.