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Let the Bullets Fly [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]

44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set in China during the warring 1920s, notorious bandit chief Zhang descends upon a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor, an identity that he had hijacked from Old Tang, himself a small-time imposter. Hell-bent on making a fast buck, Zhang soon meets his match in the tyrannical local gentry Huang as a deadly battle of wit and brutality ensues.

The highest-grossing Chinese film as of May 2012, Jiang Wen's Let the Bullets Fly (2010) is a fast-paced, frequently funny action-comedy enlivened by Jiang's go-for-broke direction and a thoroughly game cast that includes Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-fat. In addition to writing and directing the period film, Jiang also stars as Zhang, a bandit chief who overtakes a train carrying Ma (Ge You), the incoming mayor of a walled city called Goose Town. To avoid certain death, Ma assumes the identity of his adviser, who was killed during the train takeover, and makes Zhang the new mayor of Goose Town. The bandit's rule is initially opposed by mobster Huang (Chow), who holds the real seat of power in the town through ruthless oppression of the locals. Though a bandit, Zhang is opposed to exploiting the poor, and teams with Ma to unseat Huang through a series of increasingly complicated schemes, many of which hinge on assumed identities, impersonations, and body doubles. This theme of judging a book by its cover runs throughout Let the Bullets Fly, as all the characters, including a local prostitute (Zhou Yun) and Zhang's henchmen, all identified by numbers, surpass expectations of their respective positions through their actions: Zhang is a bandit, but also a decidedly democratic leader, while incumbent mayor Ma proves a craftier deceiver than his outlaw partner. The comedy of reversed (and inversed) personalities offers subtle contrast to Jiang's kinetic action set pieces, which career from explosive train derailments to wire-work fights and sprawling shootouts; the balance between action and comedy, the latter driven largely by the performances by the three leads, is handled with a deftness that should serve as a study guide for American filmmakers (or whoever remakes the picture, as it's already been optioned for an English-language remake) attempting the same blend. The Blu-ray/DVD combo presentation offers trailers for several other Asian features from the Well Go label; the collector's edition Blu-ray offers interviews with the cast and crew, as well as a slew of webisodes devoted to its production. --Paul Gaita

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Chow Yun-Fat, Xiaogang Feng, Wen Jiang
  • Directors: Wen Jiang
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006UTDI0Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,576 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 14, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Fast paced, beautifully choreographed, and downright silly, Jiang Wen's Let the Bullets Fly is what you'd get if combining the action and comedy of John Woo and Stephen Chow. Wen, who also co-stars and co-wrote the script, reportedly agonized over the writing to the point where he went through 30 drafts until he finally got it right. While the multiple characters and multiple double-crossings can get a touch convoluted and hard to follow, Wen's film is frequently hilarious and pays homage to classic Hollywood movies better than many Hollywood productions do.

An old school Western at its core, Let the Bullets Fly has the dusty old look of a John Ford film, with Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo also a clear influence. Don't be confused by seeing so many stylistically different directors referenced, as the film mashes up and switches genres at the drop of a hat, making for a wildly off balance experience that is an absolute blast.

Set in 1920s China, the story begins with an expertly staged train robbery by a bandit leader who claims to be the infamous "Pocky" Zhang(Jiang Wen). The only people left alive are Tang(Feng Xiaogang), a jittery con man who has bought the governorship of a place called Goose Town after the guy who was supposed to take over died en route. Along with him is the old governor's treacherous wife, now Tang's mistress. Zhang, who sees a chance to earn some real cash in Goose Town, spares Tang's life but assumes his identity as the governor, bringing the weaselly trickster along as his couselor.

Their arrival in Goose Town is met with drums and much celebration, except there's one who isn't so happy to see them make it safely.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Bethancourt on July 4, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If you require your Chinese movies to be ponderous, self-serious period dramas, then this is not your movie. I think this is the reason why this movie does not get higher review ratings. Also, if you don't like movies that require you to pay attention from start to finish or you miss something important, again this is not your movie. This is also not a preposterous kung-fu movie, thank goodness. This is action comedy, like Indiana Jones or those awful Tarantino ripoff films, but with much better humor. The movie is dialog-driven, which can be demanding when reading subtitles; but it is worth the effort, as clever dialog is the strongest merit of the film: lots of puns, quotables, double-entendre, farce, and idiomatically entertaining profanity (this is the movie with the "F you" scene, where everybody ends up shouting "F you" at each other back and forth). This movie is hilarious, brilliantly acted by the three main stars, and very clever. Chow Yun Fat is especially outstanding, I never knew he could do comedy; he had me laughing almost every time he was on screen, this is my favorite role that I've seen Chow in. If this movie doesn't make you smile, then you are probably dead inside.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By shaun brammer on July 13, 2013
Format: DVD
China spent almost a century in great turmoil, from the Taiping Rebellion, the fall of the Qing, a failed republic, a decade of warlords, the second World War, and a brutal civil war, before being unified once again. The years of the warlords was probably the most chaotic politically, with very little clear idea of who controlled what. This time was roughly from 1919 to 1930. It is 1919, a year when people could buy themselves governorships over towns and entire districts, and parts of China resembled the American Wild West, that the story of Jiang Wen's Let the Bullets Fly takes place.

The premise of the film is how a honorable enough bandit leader can take the control of town away from the human and drug trafficking kingpin who runs it. Jiang Wen plays the bandit leader, Pockmarked Zhang. Zhang robs a train with a man on it named Ma Bangde, played by Ge You, an aspiring politician. Ma Bangde has bought himself a governorship and is on his way to collect. During the robbery Ma's counselor dies and Ma faced with Zhang who is looking for a rich governor. So, Ma lies saying he is the counselor, and that his dead counselor was really the governor to be, hoping Zhang will let him go. With that information, Zhang decides to use Ma's expertise to take on the governorship Ma was supposed to take over for himself. Upon arriving at the city Zhang is immediately pitted against the local crime boss, Master Huang, played by Chow Yun-fat. These two characters interacting is almost like John Wayne meeting Al Capone. They engage in a battle of wits and will for the life of the poor little place called Goose Town.

The movie moves fast, much like the time period it is set in.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By truelies on April 30, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
The box office of this movie is the 2nd in China for all time. The first one is Avatar. This is the best Chinese movie in my opinion. Three top Chinese actors showed they excellent performance in this movie. A must buy blu ray. I own the Hong Kong editon for a much higher price at the first day of 2011. I don't know how the English Audio, but I think it's better use Chinese Audio and English subtitle.
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Let the Bullets Fly [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
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