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The Bullet Vanishes (2012)

tomatometer

83

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 481

My Rating

Movie Info

When a young girl at a bullet factory dies under mysterious circumstances, two detectives must investigate the reasons for her death -- and the strange occurrences that follow -- as they themselves become the target of the phantom killer.

$0.1M

China Lion - Official Site External Icon

Latest News on The Bullet Vanishes

August 30, 2012:
Critics Consensus: Lawless Is Violent and Atmospheric
This week at the movies, we've got bootlegging brothers (Lawless, starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom...

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All Critics (12) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (1)

Any caseworking suspense is drowned out by an over-abundance of visual pizazz: disjointed shootouts, arbitrary camera angles and cinematography that draws the eye to lighting patterns, not people.

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This China/Hong Kong co-production is lively, stylish and well-performed; it just doesn't know when to stop.

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dig deeply and you may find a metaphor about corrupt, uncompassionate government. But mostly "The Bullet Vanishes" is an agreeable period buddy movie, and that's plenty.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Bullet Vanishes" charges ahead at a perfect clip. Lo's delightful, hyperbolic audacity includes sharpshooter Guo's knack for banking bullets off walls to hit bad guys, as if playing pool.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This Chinese period thriller set in 1930's Shanghai boasts a fiendishly clever plot and gorgeous production elements.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When two charming detectives are sent in to detect stuff, the movie comes to life with their antsy, noose-escaping, quasi-vaudevillian kinetics.

August 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A stylishly-directed, intelligent and well-acted murder mystery brimming with thrills, suspense and intrigue. It deserves an American remake.

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Forget about your local Cineplex. This is genuine summer entertainment.

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Police track "phantom bullet" murders in this moody, twisty period mystery set in a Chinese munitions factory.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The presence of action hero Nicholas Tse and a winning performance by Lau Ching-wan go a long way to ensuring this handsome if underdone mystery-thriller is as engaging as it is.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

It's a prevailing sense of decency that explains why The Bullet Vanishes is such an effective tonic for summer-movie fatigue.

August 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

As far as cheap knock-offs go, Ching-Wan Lau (of Johnnie To's Life Without Principle) as newly minted National Police Officer Song is a fairly flattering imitation.

August 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Audience Reviews for The Bullet Vanishes

The Bullet Vanishes is one crime mystery that Law Chi-Leung does right.Sporting a 105 minute story, The Bullet Vanishes is filled with a couple clever detectives solving a series of murders. Sure, that may sound like every detective story out there, but watching the characters put the pieces together in this story is quite an amusement. Complete with a twist at the end, the story alone is worth the watch.While the word bullet does appear in the title, there isn't a lot of action or excitement to go along with this picture; however, there are a few shootings to quench the taste for violence.Ching Wan Lau is a solid detective and Nicholas Tse pulls one off as well; both of their characters work well together. Liu Kai Chi is one interesting character while Yang Mi and Yiyan Jiang are breadths of fresh air on screen.All in all, The Bullet Vanishes comes together as a recommendable crime thriller.
January 19, 2013
skactopus
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

The Bullet Vanishes caught my attention because of it interesting title and one my favorite actor, Nicholas Tse, was in it. The Bullet Vanishes is a stylish whodunit mystery film that is well acted with a smart plot to keep you engage throughout its run.

The Bullet Vanishes is set in 1930s Shanghai, as two detectives, Song (Lau Ching Wan) and Guo (Nicholas Tse), investigate a series of mysterious shooting deaths in a bullet factory. This mystery film gets things right by keeping the audience guessing on who's behind the crime with character who might or not be involve in the crime. Another plus in the writing is that it delve into our main detectives developing their back stories and giving us an idea on how they work. You'll get the usual autopsies, hypotheses, and other investigating methods one would expect from these kind of films but also get to explore the psychology of a criminal. A theme the film focus on the plausibility of a "perfect crime" and how a criminal is made to good effect. The film plot is not without some notable flaws. Without giving anything away the plot this mystery film, it has one two many twists toward the end. The pacing is uneven at times and a under develop romance that goes nowhere. In spite of the film having great usage for it many characters some of them just don't add anything significant to the overall film. It's bares some resemblance to Guy Ritchie's 'Sherlock Holmes', but it is largely its own creation with notable differences. The Bullet Vanishes has a plot that contains an intriguing mystery that you will want to see towards the end that helps it overcome it flaws.

The cast is top notch for this mystery film. Lau Ching-Wan brings an memorable and enjoyable performance that is reminiscent of his portrayal in Mad Detective (2007). Lau Ching-Wan just has a natural talent of playing detectives with usual methods very well. Nicholas Tse reigns supreme in the acting department. He's charismatic and has great chemistry with every actor he shares a scene with. Wouldn't be surprise if Nicholas Tse wins an award for his excellent performance here. The supporting cast is put to good use, though some of them go underused. Especially actress Mini Yang who appears to be eye candy and a underdeveloped love interest. It's a shame Yang didn't have a more developed character since her acting is pretty good. Director Law Chi Leung is a director I'm not well know with, but his vision for the film was perfect. The film is filled with beautiful sets, great costumes, rightful use of CGI to recreate Old Tiancheng, and maintains a good narrative structure. Law Chi Leung will pull you into the world he created.

The Bullet Vanishes might appear to be China version of Sherlock Holmes to western audiences at fist glances, but it has an identity of its own. It contains an mystery you will want to see till the end and top notch cast filled with actors that are fun to watch on screen. The Bullet Vanishes is a film that is easily recommendable for any fans of good mystery and should a film you should see if you have not already had a chance to see it.
December 9, 2012
Cinema-Maniac
Caesar Mendez

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Bullet Vanishes (Xiao shi de zi dan) (DE)
  • The Bullet Vanishes (UK)
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