Thursday, November 19, 2009

Super Typhoon (2008)

A couple of days ago I reviewed Thailands own disaster movie Tsunami 2022, which was far from the best movie in the genre I've seen. Today it's time for Super Typhoon, China's own ultraexpensive mega-movie for the masses! Could it be worse than the one from Thailand? Absolutely not! This might be a one huge propaganda movie for the communist party, but it's a good movie to - not perfect, but I'll come to that soon.

Blue Whale is the name of the super typhoon heading for one of China's smaller cities, with just over one million people living in it. The Mayor is a nice guy, honest and fair and organizes that evacuation of the city, with the help of an old woman, his teacher from school. Her father died in 1956 in the last biggest typhoon and she's a stubborn woman that know she's correct. But some people dosen't want to leave the city, we have the fishermen of course that are afraid that their boats will be destroyed, and also a man trying to get to his wife that's giving birth for the first time.

The mayor tries to talk the fishermen into following him to safety, but together they get stuck in the middle of the typhoon!

Super Typhoon is first and most a propaganda movie for the people, the politics and culture of China. Nothing bad with the, but like Tsunami 2022 it can get a bit like parody insteady. Here it's working better, mostly because of a higher class of actors and more impressive effects. The script is serious and actually very nice and not so controversial at all. Everybody helps each other, in the name of China. The most surprising thing (mostly because it's a disaster movie) is that no one dies. Not even the dog (he get's united with his owner in slow-motion on a beach in the end!). Because of the censorship rules in China, everyone is suppose to be able to watch a local movie - so that's why it's very tame in the way of dying and hurting people. But that dosen't stop the typhoon of course!

Here we have a delicious throwback to the golden age of the sixties and seventies. The city (which feels more like the lower, harbor-part, of the city) is destroyed in all it's glory with some nice (and some crappy) miniatures. Houses get's flushed away, boats and cars are flying everywhere and it's big and looks damn cool. Here the movie also shows it's limitations in effects, because it's the same cars, boats and trucks being tossed around in every scene! The highlight is when a big, big boat crushes into a warehouse where the mayor and his friends are hiding, and let's in a KILLER SHARK! Of course the shark get's it with a collective attack from our proud chinese gang of survivors! The digital effects it's quite good to, especially when they are used to integrate real people within the miniatures.

It's not a bad movie. But it lacks the raw energy that disaster movies often have. But it's well acted has cool effects, a killer shark, some nice messages about Taiwan (it's mentioned that the mayor had fun with some taiwanese businessmen for example), about internet (but also that it could be bad to meet your internet friends) and about helping each other.

1 comment:

mintonmedia said...

A fair evaluation of a movie which, despite the constraints (no deaths, promote the party and the army at all costs) manages to be fun to watch on two levels: both as an adventure spectacle and as sheer camp. The resurrection of the "American" storm chaser (so obviously a German actor) when his SUV is swept into the warehouse; the flying pooch; the wall-to-wall overwhelming music; and, of course, the only instance I've ever seen of ACTUALLY "jumping the shark" (as in ganging up on it and beating the bejesus out of it with sticks) are transcendently hilarious.

All in all, a film I'd see again, though maybe it'd be even better drunk!