Fantasia Film Festival: The Last Tycoon puts the Mel in Melodrama

The Last Tycoon

Directed by Wong Jing

Written by Wong Jing, Manfred Wong and Koon-nam Lui

China, 2012

For the last little while now, Chinese cinema, Hong Kong-made films in particular, have been beating on the nationalism drum with George Kollias-esque intentensity. It’s not enough for films to just be about loose-cannon cops named after Mexican booze or guys in pajamas fighting monkeys, everything has to be, on an explicit level, about the nation, the people and patriotism.


Donnie Yen’s Ip Man movies and Fist of Legend sequel, Jackie Chan’s 1911, and David Wu’s Cold Steel, which hit Fantasia last year, are all good examples of this.

Screening at Fantasia this year, Wong Jing’s period crime drama The Last Tycoon is a solid addition to that list, setting the story of a Shanghai crime boss against the Japanese attack and occupation of Shanghai in WW2.


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