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

2010

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

Critics Consensus

Zhang Yimou's broad reinterpretation of the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple struggles to bring anything new to the twisty murder mystery and instead ladles on an excess of stilted comedy.

33%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 58

39%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,393
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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) Photos

Movie Info

Love, betrayal, and murder take root in the deserts of China in this comedy drama from filmmaker Zhang Yimou. Wang (Ni Dahong) is an ill-tempered tyrant who runs a noodle shop not far from the Great Wall. Wang treats his employees like dirt and isn't much friendlier to his long-suffering wife (Yan Ni), who soothes her nerves by having an affair with Li (Xiao Shenyang), one of Wang's cooks. The wife would like to take Wang out of the picture, and one day she gives Li a gun, suggesting that he kill Wang so they can live in peace. A crooked cop named Zhang learns about the plot and tells Wang about the lovers, offering to kill them for a price. The next day, Zhang returns with evidence that Wang's wife and his cook have been shot, but shoots Wang before he can pay him. Zhang is about to empty out Wang's safe when he discovers he wasn't the only one with a plan to double-cross the despised noodle baron. Inspired by Joel and Ethan Coen's Blood Simple, San Qiang Pai An Jing Qi (aka A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop) was an official selection at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival.

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

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (39)

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

  • Mar 04, 2013
    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.
    xGary X Super Reviewer
  • Mar 07, 2012
    Part comedy, part film noir, this strange remake of the Coen brother's <i>Blood Simple</i> is colorful and visually dazzling but the shift in tone doesn't always work that well. Still fun though.
    Hugo S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 30, 2011
    Yimou zhang director of Hero and other interesting films from the east, tacklles a remake of the coen brothers debut film, Blood simple, from what i remember of blood simple yhis film handles it well at times. translating the texas setting back to asia does work. minor problems ocure, but also at times comes of visually a lot better than the coens classic. this is no classic though, but it was interesting to see, and a example where remakes are not only done by hollywood
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2011
    I was mostly annoyed by this movie, not because of it was bad or anything, I just felt the entire movie felt so forced. I know it's a remake Blood Simple. But the comedy just felt so out of place, it would've been better had the comedy been outstanding, but it wasn't. So you have a shitty comedy aspect, then the movie tries to get serious in the last half, and it's better, but not by much. The thing is, the goofy comedy didn't work with the darker shit in the second half. The Coen brothers are usually able to inject comedy into a dark story, because the comedy itself is ALSO dark, so it fits. But this movie isn't bad, Zhang Yimou does try something different, so I have to give props to that, but this movie just doesn't work in any level whatsoever. Except stroking Yimou's own ego.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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