Let the Bullets Fly – 3/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Let the Bullets Fly – 3/5 – Foreign films; as I have said before, they are a dime a dozen.  These films are plentiful if you are a film lover and collector.  Being plentiful though doesn’t always mean they translate to being great films.  For all the great ones that come out every so often, there are always bad ones.  This is just a representation of facts in any kind of field of filming across the world.  When it comes to this particular Asian film, it falls in between great and terrible.  The movie does well with its premise, but there isn’t enough to make it great or horrible.  Comical at parts, this foreign film struck an average chord in a plethora of great Asian films.

Set in China during the warring 1920s, a notorious bandit chief by the name of Zhang (Wen Jiang) descends upon a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor.  This is an identity that he hijacks from Old Tang (Xiaogang Feng), himself a small-time imposter. Hell-bent on making a fast buck, Zhang soon meets his match in the tyrannical local gentry, Huang (Chow Yun-Fat).  In the process of trying to get rich and fight his nemesis, a deadly battle of wit and brutality ensues.  For the acting in this film, it is sub-par.   From the legendary Chow Yun-Fat as the tyrannical menace to Wen Jiang as the head of the bandits, there wasn’t anything that you have not seen in any other Asian film.  They are stern and brutish, and they have fighting skills when time and scenes permit them to use them.  They play the typical roles of a good and/or bad character, and at times they bring awe and wonder to these roles.  The parts that standout definitely is when both of them are on screen together and bantering between one another.  The chemistry is strong, and it keeps the fight for control of the town as the top motive for both in the movie.  When it comes to the rest of the cast, they were all just pawns for the main two in the big chess board of the town.  There wasn’t anything that stood out in the supporting characters, and they played more of devices to move the films premise along.  They play standard caricature models in films of this genre, and they play their parts well enough to keep a movie audience attentive.

The direction of the film seems to be pretty straight forward.  You have a bandit that wants money and control, and you have an antagonist that is trying to prevent it and keep that control.  Within this typical line of action, there’s a comical twist given by the actors and scenes that brings a unique tone to an average drama.  Sometimes, the comical scenes were on point and made you laugh, but at other times, the scenes fall flat.  The good thing is, the overall arching story keeps you attentive because of twists, and the climax helps bring a soothing complexion to an average film.

The cinematography could be seen as the only plus part of the film.  You have a feel for a 1920s era village, as well as character models.  You feel that you belong in this place, and become engrossed in everything that is happening.  Score was null and void.

Overall, this is an average action flick for an Asian film.  There isn’t any strong acting, or anything plush from the story.  The cinematography has its strong marks, as well as some great action scenes, but overall the film was just average.  If you’re a fan of Chow Yun-Fat, I’d say check it out, but honestly, you can pass on this foreign film.


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