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A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop (San qiang pai an jing qi) (A Simple Noodle Story) (The First Gun) (2010)



Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 16

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 5,342

My Rating

Movie Info

Set in a Chinese noodle shop in a dune-specked desert, revolves around the restaurant owner's plan to murder his adulterous wife and her lover.

Feb 1, 2011


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All Critics (60) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (40) | DVD (4)

Heaven knows what inspired Zhang to undertake this nutty project, but the results are, at the least, amusing.

October 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop is a tipsy wedding of low hijinks and tiptoe-tense suspense stretches.

October 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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A whimsical but fizzled experiment.

September 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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An uneasy mix of Coen-style laughs (particularly evident in the big comic close-ups) and Zhang's majestic imagery (in one shot the couple's divorce papers shatter into a burst of confetti).

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop is great to look at. It's just not much fun to watch.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's all wrong. Each creative choice in the new version undermines the original film's appeal, a collision of incompatible visions.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...the movie, unlike the majority of contemporary remakes, stands on its own as an original and surprising piece of work.

March 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comment (1)
Reel Film Reviews

A valentine from one director to a famous team of others.

February 9, 2011 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Doesn't live up to the 1985 Coen brothers film that inspired it.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

It's a good effort, and any filmmaker about to embark on a remake should consider the director's boldness (Seriously, remaking Blood Simple?! You crazy for this one, Yimou!).

December 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix

full review at Movies for the Masses

November 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

There is certainly some curio value for cineastes here, but the real mystery is, well, what the heckfire was going through Zhang Yimou's once-brilliant mind when he decided to make this?

November 3, 2010 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

An interesting interpretation but stick with the original.

November 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

A group of shrill, idiotic characters mugging for the camera in front of stunning desert landscapes.

October 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Eventually leaves slapstick behind to follow the pattern of cruelty and misapprehension established by 'Blood Simple,' but with arrows and sword thrusts replacing the earlier film's bullets, and stone-faced Sun Honglei as Zhang's MVP.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Simultaneously frantic and dull, Noodle Shop has no hint of the restraint or meticulous concern with form exhibited in Zhang's earlier blockbusters.

September 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Zhang piles on his signature visual poetry, but he seems unsure of how to handle the relatively small-scale story.

September 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

What sounds as though it ought to be delicious winds up, instead, a soggy noodle.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The main problem with A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop has less to do with its fidelity to the Coen brothers' 1984 original than with director Zhang Yimou's own incompatibility with the material.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

It's called A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop, and, although the woman and the gun are bores, the noodles are cool, I guess.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop (San qiang pai an jing qi) (A Simple Noodle Story) (The First Gun)

A cruel noodle shop owner offers a corrupt police officer money to kill his unfaithful wife and her lover but when he double crosses and murders him the hapless lover covers up the crime fearing his mistress responsible. I was very curious to see Zhang Yimou's interpretation of the Coen brother's debut film, being a big fan of Hero and House Of Flying Daggers as well as the original in question. The story has a lot of potential for inventive adaptation and I was hoping for a Shakespearian Kurosawa style affair; unfortunately what Zhang has served up is more Stephen Chow than Akira Kurosawa. The grim details of the plot have survived intact but the cartoon characters in gaudy pantomime costumes stutter, pratfall and double take away like refugees from an episode of Scooby Doo making a very uneasy concoction of weak slapstick humour and bleak neo noir that just doesn't work. Stone faced Honglei Sun has none of the character of M. Emmett Walsh's sleazy private eye and all the suspense and sexual tension of the protagonists disappears in a puff of smoke when portrayed like a Carry On film. The final scene actually works quite well as it's a straight adaptation using swords and arrows instead of gunfire but this just serves to throw into sharp relief how ill-judged the rest of the film truly is.
March 4, 2013
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A remake of the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple that completely works. It transposes from 1980s Texas to ancient China. Smart, funny and enormously entertaining. It highlights how men become easily tempted by money, the root of all evil, when faced with bucket-loads of them, and how coincidences play a huge part in getting the characters where they end up, with each unfortunate moment ending in becoming a corpse (yes, there will be blood, and death) in a seemingly convoluted narrative that has to be seen to be believed the kind of rich writing which can pull it off.
It sure is a lot of fun delivered by its outstanding casting who seem all too comfortable in dishing out black and physical humour.
May 9, 2011
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

I expected something like Kung Fu Hustle, crossed with Crouching Tiger, but what I saw was a very strange movie. The outrageous makeup, and unrealistic costumes, made this film almost unwatchable...A silly, slapstick remake of Blood Simple that was neither clever, or funny. Giving two stars because it was beautiful, but no other redeeming qualities.
February 21, 2011

Super Reviewer

The intriguing idea behind this oddity made it a gotta-see-it flick: Chinese remake of BLOOD SIMPLE set in feudal China. What the heck, right? But from the first frame, it's clear that the actual lens for the director is more RAISING ARIZONA than BLOOD SIMPLE. Yes, it follows the basics of the plot, but it's so broad, so comic and ultimately so strange that it wears out its welcome much too quickly, and 90 minutes start to seem like 200. There is definitely some nice camera work (the director is no stranger to great composition - he gave us HERO and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS), and there's a really nifty cooking-the-noodles sequence early on, but then it's just a slog from plot point to plot point, studded with moments that visually echo the Coen Brothers' earlier masterpiece (light pouring through holes in the wall? check... the killer's hand being immobilized gruesomely by the heroine? check... you get the picture). It's not that it's a mess, it's that it's kinda boring - which is both a crime and a shame.
September 23, 2010
Jeff Talbott

Super Reviewer

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  • A Woman, A Gun And A Noodleshop (DE)
  • A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (San qiang pai an jing qi) (UK)
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