When I think of Jackie Chan, the things that usually come to mind are his comedic-action roles. His knack for delivering comedic lines and the action sequences that he performs at the same time have always attracted me to his films.
In the upcoming film, “1911,” Chan has taken on a different role and the enormous responsibility in the 100th anniversary portrayal of the Xinhai Revolution in China’s history. Coincidentally, the film also is Chan’s 100th in his long career. Not only does Jackie Chan star in the film, but he also executive produces and directs.
The story takes place at the beginning of the 20th century where China finds itself in a state of distress. The country finds itself divided into warring parties, the citizens are starving and the political reforms have not made matters better but instead worse. The ruler of the Qing dynasty is a 7-year-old emperor and his ruthless mother, the Empress Dowager Longyu (Joan Chen), who is completely out of touch after 250 years of uncontested rule.
The ordinary citizens begin to openly revolt against the Qing dynasty, but a powerful modern army called the “New Army” is created to silence any rebellion. The Qing leaders who are desperate for cash begin to trade with foreign countries to supply their army with the weapons required to win a revolution. Huang Xing (Jackie Chan) has recently returned from Japan, where he has studied the art of modern warfare, but he finds his country falling apart and feels that he has no choice but to take up the sword for the cause of his people. There are tragic consequences to the rebellions that he leads against the Qing Dynasty and the New Army.
Production not only goes behind the walls of the ancient and historical Forbidden City to the battles in the countryside. Chan and the production companies involved spare nothing in order to accurately portray the historical event in China.
In this trailer, the departure of Chan from his usual roles is obvious and the historical drama is epic in all proportions. There is tension among the monarchy of the country to the unrest of the people. There are bloody battles, buildings burning and left to rubble, and the difficult decisions that leaders must make for the whole of their people.
Jackie Chan is a remarkable martial arts genius and this type of film in the end I think will suit him just as well as the stunts that he is prone to perform. With Chan’s background in martial arts, I can only imagine the fight sequences that this film will more than likely contain. The film was released on Sept. 23 in China and Sept. 29 in Hong Kong. It will hit theaters in the United States on Oct. 7. Will you be among the ones viewing this piece of Chinese history?
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