let the bullets fly

This was a while back, but I saw Let The Bullets Fly with Gonzalo, a week ago.  The short of it is, it takes place in the nineteen twenties in Sichuan China.  A bandit named Zhang comes to a Goosetown and poses as the new mayor, but the town has a local mobster named Master Huang, the two of them then engage in mind games and deception.

The good; there’s a lot of action.  The opening sequence is a very elaborate plan to take the real mayor’s train.  It involves a speeding train, bandits on horses, a lot of gunfire and then some over the top action.

There’s the whole time period, it feels like a Peckinpah revisionist western.  I know it takes place in the twenties, but you still have the sets and costumes of most people as being traditional Chinese garb, then you have the rich characters who are wearing suits and fedoras, and then you have .45 pistols.  This whole “transitional” period draws me in.

Chow Yun-fat plays a bad guy, he’ usually the good guy in things, so it was nice to see him in a different role.

The bad; there were points in the film where the subtitles blended in to the picture, mainly cause someone was wearing white and the text just blended in to their clothes.  They really should’ve picked a different color or adjusted the subtitles when this would happen.

The film’s length was quite long, there could’ve been some tightening to scenes.  There were some confusing scenes, the two leads just kept playing mind games with each other and the explanation as to why and what happened went by very quickly.  I would’ve liked more time devoted to why they did what they did.

Overall I enjoy this film, with it’s overly Communist propaganda messages.  Sure there will be some cultural nuances that are lost on the American movie-going audience, but the action is something that’ll penetrate all language barriers.

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