Assembly ( Ji jie hao )
"Assembly" by Yojimbo
The captain of a squad who were wiped out defending a crucial position during the Chinese civil war suffers survivor's guilt and obsessively sets about trying to find their bodies and prove their heroic sacrifice. Assembly is very similar in both style and substance to Korean war film Brotherhood. It too centres around the discovery of fallen soldiers and representing their bravery in some brutally realistic battle sequences. It also shares the same strengths and witnesses of Je-kyu Kang's film in that it relies slightly too much on melodrama and manipulation for its characterisation despite the impressively epic scale of the surrounding violence. The battle scenes are very much from the Saving Private Ryan school, realistically recreating the horrors of war but the characters themselves get a little lost amidst all the flying masonry and body parts meaning that it's difficult to form any emotional connection to them, leaving the rest of the film lacking the context and resonance it really needed. Visually it is very impressive indeed however, making for a well performed and well intentioned film that's worth seeing for its sheer spectacle alone.