Hong hai xing dong   2018   China, Morocco Operation Red Sea
Operation Red Sea Image Cover
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Director:Dante Lam
Studio:Bona Film Group
Writer:Ji Feng
IMDb Rating:7.4 (1,486 votes)
Genre:Action, Drama, Thriller, War
Duration:139 min
Languages:Mandarin, Arabic, English
Dante Lam  ...  (Director)
Ji Feng  ...  (Writer)
Yi Zhang  ...  Yang Rui
Johnny Huang  ...  Gu Shun
Hai-Qing  ...  Xia Nan
Jiang Du  ...  Xu Hong
Luxia Jiang  ...  Tong Li
Sanâa Alaoui  ...  Ina
Fang Yin  ...  Li Dong
Yutian Wang  ...  Zhang Tiande
Jiahao Guo  ...  Lu Chen
Henry Prince Mak  ...  Zhuang Yu
Noureddine Aberdine  ...  Executionner
Nisrine Adam  ...  Yuna
Bing Bai  ...  
Jacky Cai  ...  Drone pilot (as Cai Jie)
Faical Elkihel  ...  Military Captain
Elliot Leung  ...  Composer
Yuen Man Fung  ...  Cinematographer
Wing-Hang Wong  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: Correct genre is Fantasy. It's several movies in one, a total showoff. The Flying Squirrel suits ended the film for me. I love snipers and special forces and I got some of that--drowned out by stupid style gun-fighting where good guys shoot perfectly and bad guys can't hit anything. The character drama is pretty good, mad props to the female. And kudos to some well executed subtleties amidst all the overblown nonsense. But this isn't a film. It's a demonstration.

I saw a Mark Wahlberg movie (or two) that was better than this. Twenty years ago.

[Update to Operation Red Sea]

I have to add: there are a LOT of special effects in the film that are stomach-churning-make-you-look-away deliciously gross. Dead bodies, half dead bodies, a live leg amputation, arms getting blown off, a guy's face getting half blown off, and etc. It's all really good, done well. But that's not what shows the "horror of war". They are special effects.

I've never seen a Chinese movie like this before (I don't think). It's weird. It's a rah! rah! film. Nationalistic, patriotic. I'm not one who will mock it for that, as a non-Chinese. It's their Saving Private Ryan, in that way. No harm, no foul. And it's their Hurt Locker, and their Black Hawk Down, and their Lone Survivor, but I digress ... It doesn't provide a feeling of vicarious national empathy, though, like Aftershock or City of Life and Death. It's more James Bond Spielberg Along With the Gods. I've seen plenty of Chinese rah rah, but not backed by this load of special effects in a contemporary realistic scenario.

All the main actors do a swell job, some super swell, except when tasked with speaking English. That's tough. I connected with most of them until they got tasked with the next outrageous mission after outrageous mission. These people saved the world nine times in two hours! Well, not the world, just some hostages here and there, but come on. The mission creep is an excuse so they can change weapons or vehicles for a new round of special effects.

Special effects are like nudity and sex. They can be gratuitous.

I'll tell you what's cool, though. One smaller thing and one bigger thing.

The smaller thing: when the female special op is fighting some big dude, mano-a-mano, he picks her up from the floor, she puts her legs around his stomach, he goes for a behind the head choke hold, so she somehow crawls under his arm around to his back like he's a piece of playground equipment. It's the kind of move you'll only see in a Chinese movie.

The bigger thing: A bomb goes off in a bus out in the desert where one of the guys is Hurt Lockering, a few other good guys are close by, and the bus is full of expendable people we get to see blown up and dead. When the bomb goes off the good guys start to run away, just enough so that they don't get blown to pieces, natch, but they do get BLOWN by the bomb. Think Tom Cruise. I'm honestly not sure how this happens but the BLOWN people end up completely buried underground, under sand. The good guys who weren't blown have to find them and unearth them before they suffocate. I've never seen that one before.

And I love snipers. They are always the coolest dudes. I like my gun violence to be economical. One shot should do it unless you are a pussy. RPGs are therefore cool, too. Pistols and automatic weapons are for pussies.

There are too many pistols and automatic weapons in the movie.

Summary: PLA Navy Marine Corps launch a hostage rescue operation in Ihwea and undergo a fierce battle with rebellions and terrorism.

The film is loosely based on the evacuation of the 225 foreign nationals and almost 600 Chinese citizens from Yemen's southern port of Aden during the 2015 Yemeni Civil War.

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