Movie review: Cliff Walkers
CLIFF WALKERS (NC16)
Chinese director Zhang Yimou pays tribute to "unnamed heroes of the revolution" with his first espionage movie.
Set against a snowy 1930s winter in the puppet state of Manchukuo, it follows four Soviet Union-trained Communist Party special agents who embark on a secret mission.
But after being sold out by a traitor, the team finds itself surrounded by threats from all sides.
Like most spy thrillers, Cliff Walkers explores loyalty, duty and sacrifice amid life-and-death situations.
However, those looking for mind-bending suspense will be disappointed as the plot is rather underdeveloped despite the two-hour runtime.
Viewers can still expect to be immersed in the narrative thanks to the nuanced, near-flawless performances from veterans such as Zhang Yi, Yu Hewei, Amanda Qin and Zhu Yawen.
While the bleak yet outstanding cinematography creates a cold and distant feeling, the moments when the light of humanity shines through will remind us that this is a story about hope. - HEDY YANG