Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale been edited significantly for its North American release, but the running time isn't the only thing that's been chopped in half.
This massive action epic, which recounts the 1930 uprising of Taiwan's aboriginal Seediq tribe against a colonial Japanese government that considered them savages, is filled with decapitations, eviscerations and other gory details.
It's all impressively (and relentlessly) staged by director Wei Te-Sheng against a series of verdant island backdrops: Despite a gigantic cast of characters – including the excellent Lin Ching-Tai as the rebellion's arrogant and charismatic leader Mouna Rudo – the mountainous forest locations are the true stars.
At times, Warriors sacrifices dramatic nuance for scale, but even its most rousing passages are tempered by a sense of loss. Rather than simply enshrining its underdog heroes' efforts, it considers their cost.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale
- Directed and written by Wei Te-Sheng
- Starring Lin Ching-Tai, Umin Boya
- Classification: 18A
- 3 stars