It's that time of year. The Vietnamese Department of Cinematography is releasing another tiring and cliche ridden film on the Vietnam war. According to a review by Do Thuy Linh, a film critic from Thanh Nien Daily News, this film has an excess of explosion, a confusing plot, and skeletal character development.
You can read the full review here.
In her review, Linh is being merciful with the special effects which I think is horrendous. Base on the latest trailer the CGI stuff is very bad. Watch the trailer above to see for yourself. Also, check out the comments on Youtube they're hilarious. The special FX folks need to work on 3D modeling textures, lighting, and coloring of the CG objects, such as the helicopters at the 00:48 mark in the trailer. The helicopters truly look like they're CGI. Given the budget of this movie why not use real helicopters? Then at the 1:06 mark, the adorable child actor is kind of too healthy to be playing a wartime lad. At the 1:35 mark, the general is in really deep thought. I wonder if he's thinking about his next line. I do admire some Vietnamese war films though such as Don't Burn or The Smell of Burning Grass. Those films have fleshed out characters and interesting narratives. More explosion doesn't make a good movie.
Linh also says that she's concerned for the production of state-fund films. The films are bad and distribution is basically non-existent. When state funded movies are made, they'll usually shown in theater for maybe couple months. After that, they're archived. Films like The Legend Makers will be off of the market in couple weeks and god knows how people will ever see them again. So it's a big waste of money and effort.
Linh is right on point about the cliche in Vietnamese war movies but she feels sympathy for the young director, Bui Tuan Dung for making the film under censorship. I think maybe he shouldn't make the film in the first place if it can't be made into a good one. I like to chant along with Linh, "Bad Films: Time to Let Go!"
Here's an interview with the director.
Here's a video interview with Quốc Thái, one of the lead actors in the film.
Here's a video of the film's Premiere.