Let the Bullets Fly Reviews
What a brilliant movie but I must admit, I missed a lot of the plot because the subtitles are going too fast. With that aside, the witty script and brilliant peformances from Chow Yun-Fat, (Master Huang) and Wen Jiang, (Pocky Zhang), made this crazy, unique, and definitely unpredictable ride, a joy to watch. When I heard that this movie had a western backdrop, I thought that it was going to be, more like a Cowboys & Indians type of storyline but once the movie gets going, it's a funny political comedy about a ruthless bandit who steals from the rich to give to the poor. The script is top class but it does get a bit complicated after a while, mainly because you have to concentrate on the annoying subtitles. The cinematography and costumes are authentic and the real governer, who wouldn't stop going on about losing his wife, cracked me up. The clever mind and coolness of Pocky Zhang is truly something to watch and the few action scenes were also impressive. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, even though I lost the plot but it's definitely worth a watch, for its originality and crazy storyline. Enjoyable!¬†
When this movie was released in December 2010, it broke several box office records in China, and has received critical acclaim. It became the highest grossing domestic film until 2012, when it was beaten by Painted Skin: The Resurrection, which grossed $140million worldwide. The movie was directed by Wen Jiang, 53, who also played the leading character, so he really did give this movie his all. He also contributed his directing skills to New York, I Love You in 2008, which had a top cast, and he brought you Devil's on the Doorstep, The Sun Also Rises and Gone with the Bullets. This movie definitely has something for everybody but you have to be a fast reader to keep up with it.
Worldwide Gross: $104million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their action/comedy/westerns starring Chow Yun-Fat, You Ge, Wen Jiang, Carina Lau and Jon Hu. 7/10
Allow me to explain one of the film's thousands of subtleties. The very fact that this film was released is artistic merit because it wrapped its message in increasingly convoluted, but easy to understand metaphors, which prevents the censors from deleting the film before it is released. Unless you watch the film multiple times, you will completely miss the subtleties, since the director cuts off most messages half-way, but leaves you with enough clues to figure out the rest of the message.
This all goes to show the ignorance of people who dismiss this film as a trivial gore fest, since it reveals them to be wholly ignorant of politics, as well as unwilling to look past the plot.
Some of the comedy is lost on me I'm sure, as sometimes it's a language thing so it can get lost in translation. There's also the speed of the dialogue. I can tell in certain scenes by the quick and seemingly snappy dialogue that there's some comedy coming through. During those scenes at best I can only sense the comedic moment and know that it's there somehow, but unfortunately not really get the humor.†When I did "get it", it was funny and the overall film with it's stylistic action scenes is very entertaining.
In a small 1920's Chinese town, they have never seen their mayor. When a local official, traveling with the mayor, is approached by bandits and the mayor is killed in the process, he reluctantly agrees to infiltrate the town, act as the mayor, and steal their money. Once in the town, the fake mayor may change his allegiance, and work with the town to overthrow the bandits.
"I never intended to profit from the poor."
"Then who would you profit from? Do you want to make money or stand tall?"
"I want to make money...while standing tall."
Wen Jiang, director of In the Heat of the Sun, Devils on the Doorstep, The Sun Also Rises, and Gone with the Bullets, delivers Let the Bullets Fly. The storyline for this picture is entertaining, with some solid action, and doesn't take itself too serious. The script is very clever and the actors play their roles well. The cast includes Chow Yun-Fat, Kun Chen, You Ge, Wen Jiang, and Carina Lau.
"Where there are gun shots, there is death. Where there is death, there is weeping. When people are weeping, they tell the truth."
I grabbed this off Netflix because I thought it was strange seeing Chow Yun-fat in a western martial arts movie. It was just okay but some random acts of violence were entertaining and I thought the action scenes were clever. A few sequences were corny, but not unexpected. This film is worth a viewing and an entertaining addition to the genre.
"Did we miss?"
Grade: C+/B- (6.5)
When the bullets fly they do, and it gives you a nice little wrap up to tie the movie good.