[Film Review] Let The Bullets Fly (2010)


English Title: Let The Bullets Fly
Original Title: Rang zidan fei 让子弹飞
Year: 2010
Language: Mandarin
Country: China, Hong Kong
Genre: Action, Comedy
Director: Jiang Wen 姜文
Guo Junli 郭俊立
Jiang Wen 姜文
Li Bukong 李不空
Shu Ping 述平
Wei Xiao 危笑
Zhu Sujin 朱苏进
Music: Joe Hisaishic, Shu Nan 舒楠
Cinematography: Zhao Fei 赵非
Chow Yun-fat 周润发
Jiang Wen 姜文
Ge You 葛优
Zhou Yun 周韵
Chen Kun 陈坤
Wei Xiao 危笑
Jiang Wu 姜武
Yao Lu 姚橹
Shao Bing 邵兵
Liao Fan 廖凡
Hu Jun 胡军
Zhang Mo 张默
Carina Lau 刘嘉玲
Feng Xiaogang 冯小刚
Miao Pu 苗圃
Du Yiheng 杜奕衡
Bai Bing 白冰
Ma Ke 马珂
Rating: 7.9/10


I’m quite lagging behind the progress of recent Chinese film market, LET THE BULLETS FLY is still the No.1 film in the all-time domestic grossing (approximately 100 million US dollars, it seems that the record still holds steady judging by the underperformance of Yimou Zhang’s THE FLOWERS OF WAR 2011 and Hark Tsui’s THE FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE 2011 in the past Christmas season), and its preeminent word-of-mouth prompts itself as a must-see for every aficionado, it is a bit shameful of me to been not have watched this one, aside from that I’m a bona fide Chinese, thus I chose this one as the first film to start my 2012.

However the road is bumpier than I thought, at first the abrupt dialogs and some implausible scenes grate on my nerves (particularly the absurdly droll disembowelment suicide). But it is a genuine slow burner, the tension ignited by a spanked-up manhood hegemony is sterlingly fabricated at the latter part, there is a conspicuous political intent has been underlined in a metaphorical method while contains some visceral vibes being spiritually entertaining and optically stylish! As a matter of fact the censorship of cinema in China is harshly stern (politically preferred), thus it is wondrous to guess how this film had evaded it and subsequently became the highest grossing one in the Chinese film history, lots of context reading could be arresting and effectual for other film directors.

As the elite in contemporary Chinese film market, LET THE BULLETS FLY is Wen Jiang’s most ambitious work to date (after a failed attempt with DEVILS ON THE DOORSTEP 2000, which was shut down completely in the domestic cinema due to some political reasons, and a box office debacle in 2007 with THE SUN ALSO RISES), Wen cunningly harness a cast with trio male leaders, which has an overpowering appeal towards nearly all the Chinese audience. You Ge (a household name in China and principally allures the large northern demography) stands out in the melee, his satirical aura is the key catalyst in the film and also salts his tragic doom with a poignant flavor. Chow Yun-Fat (the Hong Kong marque name which has more box-office sway in southern area) is solid too, but his villainy is a trifle overstated with his over-stately appearance. The real top dog is Wen himself, the winner both in and outside the film, with a gutsy supporting characters (Zhou Yun, Carina Lau is the meager female included).

Hardware-wise, the film represents the top-notch level of contemporary Chinese film (one exception is the CGI effect of the opening train accident, which is risibly artificial), and the final battle of the strategy about acquiring the dominance and manipulating of the mass demonstrates that Wen is the master of fashioning a compelling period mainstream work with modern political allegory, which is a highly valued rare bird in this era.

Oscar 2010 - Let the Bullets Fly

4 thoughts on “[Film Review] Let The Bullets Fly (2010)

  1. Pingback: Lady Luck Productions » [Last Film I Saw] Let The Bullets Fly « A Breathless Trail

  2. Pingback: [Last Film I Saw] The Taking Of Tiger Mountain (2014) [7/10] | Cinema Omnivore

  3. Pingback: [Film Review] Hidden Man (2018) – Cinema Omnivore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s