When circumstances force an outlaw (actor/director Jiang Wen) to impersonate a county governor and clean up a corrupt town, the Robin Hood figure finds himself in a showdown with the local “godfather” (Chow Yun-Fat).
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Considering that half of this film's story is built on witty wordplay and subtle deception, it's no wonder that "Let the Bullets Fly" doesn't translate entirely well to the Western market, where much of the humor and intrigue is lost in subtitles. The *other* part of the story - the blood and viscera and comic bits of ultra-violence - still comes across loud and clear, though, and makes it a mostly entertaining film.
It's a Chinese Quentin Tarantino (except better than Tarantino) Western film. Good plot, interesting/weird characters. Ridiculous action parts, and you are always on the edge of your seat trying to expect the next unexpected event. The color of this movies is also great, but some of the camera work made me nauseous at parts. Still, without a doubt one of the best films I have seen this year.
Jiang Wen's Let The Bullets Fly spends most of it's runtime subverting expectations for the film will play out, and it was more than just a pleasant surprise. Not as much action as one would think, but the action is very well choreographed. It's understandable why the comedy might not translate well to Western audiences, but Wen and Chow Yun Fat deliver it perfectly.
For me, "Let the Bullets Fly" failed. There are a lot of good actors chewing the scenery, fights and gun battles, verbal sparring - but it drags. I kept wanting people to just shut up and shoot things so I didn't have to listen to them be clever any more. And the story never clarifies. And when CGI is used (rarely, thank goodness) it's second rate CGI. Disappointing for a movie I was really looking forward to.
Holy shit. Clearly indebted to Tarantino, which is fitting considering how much he's professed his love for Chinese action movies. Super convoluted plot and hyper-frenetic editing make sure that, except for the last half hour or so, this two-hour movie never feels slow. Plus, Chow Yun-Fat gets to play a totally ridiculous villain.