Review: 'Railroad Tigers' Starring Jackie Chan

Beginning the new year with some action from Jackie Chan. Isn’t it amazing that at sixty-two  Jackie Chan is still out here jumping over stuff and putting himself in harm’s way for movies? So as he continues on being prolific we have this movie Railroad Tigers, an action comedy with one of his co-stars being his son Jaycee Chan which makes you feel at times like Jackie Chan is in a movie with his younger 80s self. Here we have another period movie dealing with Japan’s occupation of China during the '40s and I had high hopes.

Jackie Chan is Ma Yuan, a railroad worker who leads a band of other workers that use their knowledge of the trains to attack Japanese train convoys to get supplies for poor people in their province. Once the Japanese come to their area to investigate these attacks they decide to help the rebel forces and blow up the local bridge that the Japanese military use to move their forces and supplies throughout the whole region to hamper them. Much of movie is broken into chapters and the tone kept light even though events in the story is actually pretty serious. Jackie has his usual charisma he’s had over the past 40 years. The story drags as it’s trying to get you into each one of his crew and knowing Japanese military antagonists. To be honest I think it’s more of a cultural thing in terms of telling the story than if it’s really bad or not.

Railroad Tigers has a lot of good humorous moments but not as much really cool fight sequences as you’d expect from older Jackie Chan movies. His interaction with his son, Jaycee Chan is which fun to see. The Japanese military characters are over the top. This movie is like watching those action comedies we make with Americans or brits fighting Nazis – something like Hogan’s Heroes. As I said earlier though it drags on and on. This movie might’ve done better with thirty minutes cut off. There are entire scenes that feel boring and uninteresting. The last act – the mission to blow the bridge is quite harrowing, though. That part is paced very well as they try and take the train set it up for the explosion. With set piece onto set piece along with you caring more and more for each character in the Tigers as they try to succeed over the overwhelming odds.

Thinking back on the movie I wish that second act was kind of expunged or done as a montage so that it was just the introductory first act and the really big and fun last act. The movie ended way more serious than I thought it would but not that surprising going by Chan’s recent output the last ten years. In the end, I can’t sit here and say this is one is a must see new piece of his filmography but it might be cool to watch if comes on one day on cable or something.

Rating: 3 out of 5