A Home Too Far and its sequel, A Home Too Far 2: End of the Road is a duology of war movies directed by Taiwanese director Kevin Chu. The series is known to be the best serious war movies ever made in Taiwan, which isn't saying much because Taiwan has made less than 10 war movies throughout its history of cinema, and most of them are either below average, mediocre or So-Bad-Its-Good.
The movies follows a band of soldiers from the Republic of China Army and their families, fleeing the Chinese civil war after the cultural revolution, where the resulting exodus have caused their members, military and civilian alike, to die in droves.
The films notably follows the point-of-view of several key characters: Sergeant Teng Ke-pao, a soldier who had to look out for his wife and two children while trying to survive, Little Tu (Andy Lau), a rebel leader and defector who returned to the army because of his sense of duty, and Fan Long (Tony Leung), a prisoner-of-war who escaped his prison camp from Burma.
The film series provides examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Tu, who constantly chugs rice wine when not fighting in the war.
- Anyone Can Die: And they did, in droves in both movies. Even the children werent spared
- Badass Moustache: Tu, one of the most skilled rebels, with a thick stache to match.
- Badasses Wear Bandanas: Tu is never seen without his headscarf.
- Bayonet Ya: Soldiers on all sides use bayonets in battle in both movies.
- The Cavalry: The horseback rebels led by Tu, arriving to help battle the Burmese.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Most of the battles the soldiers of the Republic of China Army end with them on the losing side. Justified because they are refugees fleeing from the horrors of war, are low on supplies and medical care, exhausted from running all the time, and are at the mercy of whatever harsh conditions the war has to offer.
- Death World: The forests of Southern China in the first movie is depicted in this manner, where poisonous gases left behind from the war lingers in the air, the plants are lethal and can kill with a scratch, the water is completely unsafe for drinking, and most of the refugees trying to cross the forest ends up dying en masse.
- Downer Ending: For the entire main cast. Even if they survive the war (which is a rare occurrence) they lose literally everything that means anything for them.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: Literally NONE of the name characters survive both movies.
- Eye Scream: Happens in both movies. This is what happens when soldiers rush into the warzone when highly-flammable napalm gas is in the air. In the first movie we see a soldiers eyes getting burnt away and the graphic aftermath of his eyeless sockets while he begs for help.
- Facial Horror: The first movie had a scene where a Republic of China soldier being hit by napalm and having half his face burnt black, and the movie lovingly give us a close-up on his charred, scorched face. With his lips torn apart, eyes sunken in and teeth missing.
- In the second movie, Fan Long kills a Burmese soldier while escaping the prison camp by smashing his face in.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the final battle of the first movie, Tu sacrifices his life to blow up the Burmese ammunition dump to allow the Nationalist army a chance of victory.
- Horseback Heroism: Tu and his band of rebels, who kicks ass while riding on horses.
- Invading Refugees: The Republic of China Army in South East Asia, fleeing the Chinese civil war and forcing their way into Burma.
- Jungle Warfare: Shows up in both movies, since theyre set in the forests of Southern China and South-East Asia.
- Kill 'Em All: By the ending of the second movie, what remains of the Republic of China Army has been completely massacred by the Burmese. Fan Long gets shot together with the rest of the army.
- Manly Tears: Happens when the soldiers saw their comrades dying, their families perished, and Ke-pao when seeing his sons corpse.
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Tu, suffering multiple gunshot wounds, moments before succumbing as he gives up his life to blow up the munitions dump, sees his lifes events happening before him as he expires. His mothers death, his home lost in the war, his family gone while questioning the reasons why is this war even happening and what are they fighting for.
- Obligatory War Crime Scene: The opening scene of both movies depicting the casualties of the Chinese civil war.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Sergeant Ke-pao comes home in time to learn of his sons death.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Sergeant Ke-pao was assumed dead after an ambush gone horribly wrong, and his comrades assumed he died in the crossfire due to a case of Never Found the Body. Turns out hes simply lost in the jungle and spent days trying to look for his way out, but he eventually made it back to his wife and children.
- Self-Destructive Charge: Wei, after seeing most of his comrades dying, blindly rushes towards the Communist Chinese army, despite his sergeant telling him to come back. He ends up getting hit by a mortar.
- Tank Goodness: In the end of the second film.
- Took a Level in Badass: Tu, after leaving the army prior to the events of the film. When the rest of the army catches up with him years later, they are surprised to discover hes a badass rebel leader and expert rider who take names easily.
- War Is Hell: Of course.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Ke-paos children questions him this when he had to leave for the final battle. He promised them he will return soon enough. Too bad for him, his son is too eager to wait for his return that every day, the boy will climb to the top of a tree, on the highest branch, to see his fathers return. Then, the branch breaks
- You Can't Go Home Again: The band of soldiers from the Republic of China Army, and their families, being forced to leave their hometowns as result of the civil war and taking refuge in South East Asia. They eventually settled in a foreign country, and will leave their pasts behind permanently.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Sergeant Ke-pao barely survives the final battle of the first movie, watching his entire platoon being slaughtered, almost everyone he knows dying ( including Tu). When he returns to his family, he found out his son had died from an accident when hes not around. And hes completely absent in the sequel from dying offscreen between the movies.