Set in 1937, this huge chinese blockbuster that smashed the box office in 2020 becoming the highest grossing film worldwide, follows the heroic deed of a group of 800 Chinese soldiers, who resisted the Japanese aggresion in sanghai, defending the Sihang warehouses, carrying over their shoulders the hope of a nation and the dignity of their people, having as ultimate goal, survival as the last win.
Director Guan Hu captures onto the screen the harshness and ugliness of war through breathless action sequences, in which we follow the choral cast across a rain of shrapnel and bullets, in a battlefield where death approaches in every corner, giving us an intimate look to those men who bravely risked their lives for their nation, whom actually were just a bunch of young men and boys who their only wish was that hell to end as soon as possible and return home with their dear beings. But the film is not limited to showing the conflict from the point of view of the battlefield, also offering a look from the perspective of civilians, who a few meters away and despite being involved in an unwanted war, try to continue with their normal lives, becoming spectators in front row of the battles that are being fought for their destiny, turning into the biggest moral support for those soldiers who were fighting for their freedom. Here enters one of the most important factors of the film, its impressive cinematography, which, as if it were a time machine, transports the viewer from his seat to the Sanghai of that time, showing the magnitude of an immense and crowded lively city that refused to surrender despite the invasion to which it was subjected by the Japanese Imperial army.
Certainly The Eight Hundred is a colossal blockbuster that smashed the box office, being the first big hit in China during this pandemic that we are still suffering, succeeding in terms of cinematic quality where other recent similar products have miserably failed. Bringing to the silver screen a historical war event loaded of epic and splashed with big doses of nationalism, that emerges as a solid and madly enjoyable entertainment, that despite its long duration never gets any boring, and keeps the thrilling until the very last frame, leaving you exhausted after watching it. A truly wonderful cinematic experience.
The Eight Hundred is now available on DVD in the UK from CMC Pictures, and will release on limited edition Blu-Ray (with alternative artwork and exclusive extras) and digital from April 12.