The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (12)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (7)
About the only thing this cinematic whirligig skimps on is coherence, both narrative and aesthetic.
In his embrace of American sensibilities, Wuershan seems to have mastered a Hollywood specialty: empty calories served loud, flashy and fast.
And the prize for the most incomprehensible movie of the millennium goes to the Chinese martial-arts comedy "The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman."
Wuershan's heavy hand, never letting up for a moment to allow any air or life to enter the film, cuts off the film's energy even as it rattles relentlessly on.
If it's diminished by the director's feverish urge to over-achieve, this movie is clearly the kind of irreverent, multi-platform, cross-genre, otherworldly stuff Hollywood wants from China: fast, furious, big, bold and brassy.
Only in the centerpiece sequence does first-time director Wuershan successfully maintain his balance of the grotesque and the fanciful, a tricky feat elsewhere upset by his obnoxious style.
This film breaks almost every filmic rule regarding amount of content, pacing and editing speed, but somehow the combination flies through the air as swiftly and smoothly as the magical cleaver, slicing all that oppose it.
It is hard to say how much influence (Doug) Liman had over the finished product, but the already jittery directorial eye of Wuershan may have been better served by a collaborator who favours a less-is-more approach.
Wuershang is too busy mixing up a slurry of postmodern techniques, abortive fight scenes, and noisy set pieces to spend any time on fundamentals.
This coarse, complicated period comedy is unlikely to catch on with mainstream U.S. audiences, while fans of contemporary Chinese movies will compare it-mostly unfavorably-to Stephen Chow's equally broad but more graceful action comedies.
If [it] sounds juvenile, well, okay, maybe it is. But who cares, when it's all so damn much fun?
Likeable crazy, combined with visual stylistics and driven by a sense of humour, this madcap Chinese martial arts frolic has everything
Quite strange tale of revenge, honour and greed follows a group of misfits that gets involved with a kitchen cleaver made from the top five swords of the martial arts world in this weird and brash action comedy.
You can tell director Wuershan makes ads featuring lots of slow motion, fast edits, bellowing fabric and soaring arias. The film is full of gimmicks. This includes, black and white sections with red highlights à la Sin City, animations, video game sequences, Taiwanese 3D news renderings and cartoons.
The few sequences that look interesting enough are those dealing with food.
There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.
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