Cliff Walkers

Cliff Walkers ★★★★

very slickly-made and gruesomely violent piece of espionage noir pulp that is also a strange hybrid of the men-on-a-mission action thrills of something like Where Eagles Dare and the brutal, cold wartime paranoia and desolation of something like Army of Shadows. the kinda thing that is mostly made up of shadowy alleys, cyanide pills, convoluted double-crosses, fedoras, torture/execution sequences, train fights and car chases. 90% convinced zhang made this because of the how many visual opportunities he got to decorate the unforgiving snow with blood splatter. people always bend over backwards to uncharitably analyze the politics of a movie that xi approves of but i found this to be a pretty damn mournful and guilt-ridden depiction of people willing to be brutalized for the cause.