John Woo Returns to Action Roots with “Manhunt”

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John Woo Returns to Action Roots with “Manhunt”

John Woo is one of the most famous directors in the Hong Kong film industry. Those who know him will know him because of his action movies, which can be distinguished by their Mexican standoffs, their fondness for slow motion sequences, and the sheer chaos that erupts once the characters burst into motion. Suffice to say that Woo has had a fair amount of influence on action movies as a whole, which in turn, means that there is a fair amount of interest in the movies that he chooses to make.

What Is John Woo’s Manhunt?

The latest such movie is called Manhunt. Said movie is a remake of the Japanese movie of the same name, which was called Kimi yo Fundo no Kawa o Watare in its native language. It is interesting to note that Woo has stated that the upcoming movie will be a return to the style of his older movies, but it is even more interesting to note why he chose to take on the project.

Why Does Kimi yo Fundo no Kawa o Watare Have Such an Important Role in the Chinese-Japanese Relationship?

From 1966 to 1976, the Cultural Revolution was launched to reestablish Mao Zedong’s central position in the Communist Party of China after the catastrophic failure of the Great Leap Forward had caused his prestige to plummet. Due to the critical importance of art and literature to politics, there was a severe crackdown on people associated with such, with the result that China’s cultural creation and consumption were constricted to that which lauded Mao Zedong. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that foreign media was banned as well.

After the Cultural Revolution came to a close, the Chinese public became fascinated with films, which became a primary means of entertainment because few Chinese households of the time had their own TV sets. Some of the films were Chinese-made, but a lot of them came from foreign countries. Kimi yo Fundo no Kawa o Watare was one of the first foreign movies to be shown in China after the Cultural Revolution, with the result that it went on to win numerous Chinese fans. For proof, look no further than the fact that an enormous number of Chinese people expressed their sympathies when the movie’s lead Takakura Ken died of cancer in 2014, with examples ranging from Chinese Internet uses to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In particular, Woo has stated that he searched for some method to commemorate Takakura Ken, who had been an inspiration for his own film-making. During his search, he was contacted by the chief of the Media Asia Entertainment Group, who asked him whether he would be interested in doing a remake of Kimi yo Fundo no Kawa o Watare. The resulting movie was filmed in Osaka, Japan using a combination of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean actors, starting up in June of 2016 and finishing up in November of 2016. As a result, Manhunt is set for release in China on November 24, though it has been screened at both the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

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