Thursday, 1 March 2012

Let The Bullets Fly (2010) @ 让子弹飞

"I'm the director of this movie and this is what I get to do, okay Carina?"
At a glance:
Dubbed by the film's director as China's answer to Hollywood's Oceans Twelve (2004), Jiang Wen's Let The Bullets Fly 让子弹飞 is an immensely rich and successful genre-bender that will go down as one of the best movies in the past 10 years to all Mandarin-speakin territories. With even Feng Xiao Gang in a cameo appearance early in the film, Jiang Wen blends art house storytellin with commercial sensibilities to deliver an entertainin period caper about three men in 1920s warrin China - Bangde Ma (Ge You), Pocky Zhang (Jiang Wen himself in an inspired performance) and Huang (Chow Yun Fatt). It's black humour with lots of old school banditry seeped in a political battle of wits.
Bad news on the doorstep:
The cast turn in a five-star performance with each actor stealin the scenes of another; it's appropriately convoluted and sharply tackled. However, most reviewers note that some of the subtleties of language are perhaps lost to all but the native Chinese. The sequences are intelligent and weighted, although some CG work comes across very cartoonish.
Reminds me of:
The last time I had so much fun watchin a Mainland movie - One Foot Off The Ground (2006).
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Four stars. Any viewer who manages to catch
Let The Bullets Fly will know that the 30 over script drafts the director went over before finally bein satisfied was likely no exaggeration. With its two versions (one in Mandarin and one in Sichuanese), the film broke several box office records in Mainland China and Hong Kong, and received critical acclaim when it was released. One source has it down for a 730 million yuan (US$111.1 million) in box office, becomin the highest-grossin domestic film in China's cinematic history when it was released. Movie opens Stateside this week, almost two years since the Chinese first saw it.
Trailer for the curious:
Bonus material:
DID YOU KNOW? Chow Yun Fatt hasn't been in a Cantonese movie for 17 long years, since God Of Gambler Returns (1994), I think.