The Butcher, The Chef And The Swordsman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Butcher, The Chef And The Swordsman Reviews

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August 17, 2014
It was good for a few laughs, but it is hard to follow..... use your imagination to fill in the confusing parts and all is well...
April 6, 2013
Dao jian xiao is an off-kilter buddhist allegory that combines some fairly strong drama with a good dose of rather vicious sense of humor, tossing in a bunch of genre and popcultural references and spicing it all up with a generous serving of Chinese bawdy slapstick.
All that is wrapped in some pretty stunning visuals (apparently Wuershan's strong point).

The revenge story is the best balanced and best executed bit and it is definitely where most of the emotional appeal of the film springs from.
Second best would be the story of the ambitious Swordsman - a stylish play on wuxia tropes and stereotypes.
Sadly, the one story that frames the whole narrative (Butcher) is the weakest of all and it throws the whole film off balance. It does have its charms (especially if you happen to like Chinese bawdy slapstick or if you at least tolerate it well), but it is plagued by unnecessary popcultural references and it is a bit of an overkill in terms of crude comedy... Also, while the connection and transition between the Chef and the Swordsman stories are quite seamless and organic, the transition from the Butcher to the Chef and back is a lot less convincing.

Wuershan definitely needs to learn some discipline. "I've got lots of insane ideas and I won't hesitate to use them ALL" is not the best narrative strategy.
However, Dao jian xiao is by no means a stupid movie and while its main purpose is to entertain, it's not as hollow or as empty as lots of critics make it out to be.

Swordsman (lobha) - 80%.
Chef (dosa) - 100%
Butcher (moha) - 60%
80% total.

Om mani padme hum.
October 12, 2012
at first , i don't really understand what the story is . but as long as the story goes, the plots becomes clearer and interesting , and also it is funny too. loves it.
½ June 29, 2012
Razocaranje. Dolgocasno, nepovezano, rezija tudi cudna, zgodba kr neki, skratka skoda cajta.
½ May 15, 2012
The kinda film that makes me wanna say "HUUUHH??" in both English AND Mandarin
February 24, 2012
What the heck, this had some promise and a few cool parts, but it is visually all over the place, and some of the story and acting is just terrible, so it was kinda disappointing.
February 16, 2012
good combo of genres and styles both old n new together that works
February 14, 2012
A very strange chinese movie. Wasn't sure how to exactly watch it. It's a mixture of action, with Chinese comedy and some black comedy. Definitely not for everyone but some will enjoy it. I do admit I may have laughed a bit but not as much I think it wanted me to. If you do watch it prepare for a very strange ride.
February 13, 2012
"Likeable crazy, combined with visual stylistics and driven by a sense of humor, this madcap Chinese martial arts" is worth a watch. Fun eye candy.
½ January 19, 2012
I like to see films that brings up a series of stories that grabs your attention and somehow connecting it all in the end. This film tried to do that, but miserably failed because of a very horrid directing and creating an atmosphere that that ruined the tone of the film. There are three sets of stories and out of the three, two were actually decent. The two stories, the Chef and the Swordsman, were actually okay; had this old Chinese folktale type of story, in which I thought was pretty well done. I don't know if these stories had a morale, but as you watch both stories, you see how they connect to each other and was done quite well. The main issue with this, however, was its presentation, failing to create a serious mood by presenting everything in a comedy environment. I don't know why, but the director made this whole film as a comedy, making these two stories, that could have been better, but making it comical and failing to bring in any laughs. It really felt like the director tried so hard to be funny, but it was more awkward watching this film, than watching a stand up comedian on stage, who fails to bring in laughs to the audience. Although, these two had a good story, it was annoying to watch at certain times because of how the director presented the film.

As said above, there were three stories and two were connected. The third story, the Butcher, is possibly one of the most annoying and pointless pieces of work I have seen, as absolutely nothing that you will see in this pig's tale deserves to exist. There is one thing that connects this with the other stories, but the rest is filled with an extremely dull, frustrating, comical tale of a fat pig dreaming big. I rarely get frustrated when watching films, but this story really angered me; more than Hollywood butchering classics like "Dragonball." I think the director thought he was a comedic storyteller, because there were too many moments that were out of place and definitely unnecessary; girls do a hip-hop session, a crappy CGI demonstration, and a total ripoff of fighting games of "Tekken" and "Mortal Kombat" during the most ridiculous fighting scene, ever. I was completely angered as I watched this, as this story, should have never been thought out or even existed.

The person who edited these scenes must be a complete brain dead druggy because the editing was downright horrible. You can't get a clear view of an event, as the camera tends to jump everywhere in a movement that's beyond a shaky camera movement. A guy is about to cut someone and it jumps around to various characters and continues to do that for over a minute, until you actually see the event go down. Everything was presented in a fast forward motion, skipping too many times, and making everything hard to watch. The film takes out all of the excitement, making it hard to have fun with this film.

Surprisingly, I thought the acting was actually pretty decent. Everyone, except for the actor who portrayed the Butcher, was good as their role and actually gave out decent performances. The guy who played the Butcher pissed me off to the max and is definitely one of the most annoying characters I have seen. All he does is whine more than any brat and yells, rather than talking; you can have a childish mentality and find it hard to even laugh at this character.

If the film did not have the other two stories, this could have made it to my worst film list. The horrid pig tale, the actor who played the pig, making everything comical and trying to be funny, really made me hate this film to the max. I don't know what the morale of the plot is and you will definitely wonder to yourself, what the director wanted to do with this film. Pointless, mindless, and completely annoying.
January 4, 2012
Excellent and bizarre! If it's Chinese action and not well liked by critics, it's most likely a winner. Just like the old days!
January 1, 2012
This would have done Tarantino proud if Pulp wasn't done. Unfortunately it resembles his twisty narrative timing to the bone. It's trying too hard to replicate Zack in Sin City (the whole pleasantville look) as well.
November 12, 2011
Kitty Zhang has saved this movie from getting a one-star rating. :)
deano
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2011
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 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.
November 3, 2011
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.
½ October 27, 2011
surprisingly funny movie, this is not your average revenge tale. the cinematography is well done. I like it.
½ October 9, 2011
Especially the starting (and ending) episode is offbeat and overplayed, but, Michaelbaydism and gtoesque, Delicatessen-styled effects aside, it tries to achieve something different, and the original twisted storytelling bend the sword-tale of wuxia in new directions. Cle-a-ver.
September 3, 2011
The martial arts suck but funny.
June 19, 2011
at first , i don't really understand what the story is . but as long as the story goes, the plots becomes clearer and interesting , and also it is funny too. loves it.
May 3, 2011
A vibrant and zany mishmash of a period piece and Pulp Fiction. If it had more of an audience backing it may be a cult film, but instead its a very unique experience.

The premise is simple. Three themes: Desire, Revenge, and Greed. Three main characters, and we go from story into story into story. After it reaches the story beginning the mythical kitchen blade, it slingshots itself back with 3 climaxes Inception style.

It must be commended for style alone. It's unlike anything you've ever seen, with a rap song, a Street Fighter-esque fight scene, and lots of hyper editing.

The best part is the middle story, about a chef who desires revenge against a cuisine loving tyrant. The Swordsman story is well done too, both have great twists.

Sadly, the final story that wraps up everything is the Butcher, and it just seems to drag on without much interest. The movie is labelled as an action comedy, but there is barely any action scenes to speak of but plenty of comedy.

The ultimate mixed bag, this is a film that will divide viewers. Some will like its brash nature and see it as a breathe of fresh air, others will not. For me, it was straight down the middle, some of the good outshining the bad.
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