(This is Advance Wave Upon Wave film review, which is a Chinese Civil War film that is based on a real-life story)
War, war never changes. And Advance Wave Upon Wave takes the same concept and puts it from the Chinese Civil War perspective. Here, it is based on a real-life characters, the 8 brothers, who were all sent to war as part of the Red Army against the Nationalists.
It is directed by Xixi Gao and stars relatively unknown Chinese actors such as Yuanyuan Cheng, Qiang Gao, Peter Ho and Duanduan Liu. Without further ado, let’s see what makes this civil war film stands out from the rest, right in the Advance Wave Upon Wave film review below!
When 8 brothers were sent to the front of Chinese Civil War, their brotherhood was put into test as they died one by one as time passed. What will be the price to pay to win the war itself?
Advance Wave Upon Wave Film Review
The premise is based on a real-life 8 brothers who were involved in the Chinese Civil War itself. Albeit the film dramatises more on some events, and there seems to be additional fictional happening included for dramatic factor.
only 2 brothers appear, as the rest died in the first 5 minutes
It is a film that focuses on the war from the beginning till the end. In fact, the film never stops much from warless scenes. While I like it when a film focuses on its subjects, this one puts too much focus on the war that it does not develop much on the characters.
Talking about the characters, the title itself is misleading, as most of the film, only 2 brothers appear, as the rest died in the first 5 minutes of the film. So I feel that it loses some opportunity to explore more on the brothers themselves. However, this is partially made up with other characters, who become their ‘brothers-in-war’.
The film offers not much twists or some unexpected plot events. It is kept downright realistic and gritty, which is great and fit the atmosphere, though there are parts that don’t make sense. Especially some where we don’t know what’s going on and then suddenly a character appears for no reason.
The other problem it has is the hero’s factor, where the main characters got shot a few times to the point of fatality but they still survived for way longer than possible.
Pacing wise it is pretty monotonous. It is war after war, just like the title suggested. Thus, though there are some quiet moments, it is almost becoming predictable when the next wave is coming.
Also, the length of the film and the pacing drags out the middle portion a bit, causing it to be a bit boring to the point where I check the time.
even the CGI looks almost real, albeit with some inconsistencies
Visual-wise, it is pretty impressive. The production value is quite high, and even the CGI looks almost real, albeit with some inconsistencies. They are not Hollywood level, mind you, but the quality has been getting better to the point that in some scenes the CGI looks real.
It’s only the animation that reveals it’s CGI, but I am amazed by the improvement the Chinese filmmakers have made these past years.
The characters presented here are quite the usual bunch. So we have the Big Brother who is the Captain of his troop, the youngest brother who becomes a new recruit, and various other lieutenants. However, these characters themselves, though cliché, are actually the main star of the films.
It has never been about the war, but the people who fights it. I find that some of the characters are quite interesting with their personality and backgrounds. They are a bunch of misfits, but their interaction with one another feels realistic as well as bring upon the humour and human touch to the films.
some of the characters are quite interesting with their personality and backgrounds
Also, there are backstories to some that explains why they are good at what they did. It makes us empathise with them. With that said, the Big Brother and two of his men are the most developed, while ironically, the Youngest Brother and some others are least developed.
I find that the youngest brother is a bit too naive and his actions are questionable and somewhat unrealistic. His responses to war as well as some flashback does not really connect. I would say he is in the film just to provide the ‘brotherhood’ scene itself.
The antagonist is the Nationalist, but they are mostly just soldiers, with the exception of a captain who happened to be the same one that killed the brothers’ villagers. Otherwise, there is not really any main bad guys in the film.
Soundtrack is a mixture of war tracks, with village song and some patriotic chinese melody. Nothing out of the ordinary. They are decent, and does fit the atmosphere and plot. However, they do not stand out in quality unlike some films.