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The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel

4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

World War II: a cholera epidemic ravages the streets of Beijing. A crack team of Chinese intelligence agents kidnap a Japanese general and biochemist who may hold the antidote. When trickery and torture fail, the covert squad smuggles their victims into a restaurant and launches the oddest of interrogations – staging a Chinese Opera and posing as fellow guests, designed to entice, confuse, and ultimately trick their captives into revealing the truth before time runs out.

Additional Features

Making of Blooper Reel Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Ye Liu, Hanyu Zhang, Bo Huang
  • Directors: Guan Hu
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00IXD2MZ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,124 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a Chinese opera based on a true story about four patriots during W.W. !! during the Japanese occupation of China. Li Fangzhi (Huang Bo) is the scoundrel who kidnaps the Japanese scientist and his escort, the actor Zhou Yitong (Zhang Han Yu) who sort of acts as a buffoon, and the Chef Liu Zuming (Liu Ye). and the chef's wife Wu Hongying (Liang Jing) who is the propriator of the restaurant. The strange unmentioned point is that the town is totally deserted except for the restaurant. Outside of the six character mentioned and one bird, two puffer fish and one cockroach there isn't another life form in the town until the army arrives. I assume the horse that was hitched to the cab that brought the Japanese kept on going and didn't stick around for the fun and laughs. The Japanese created a new and virulent strain of the cholera virus to be used against the people of Peking but it got out of control and worked its way into the Japanese army. The scientist that created the virus was sent for to bring the anti-virus to the army. He is kidnapped by the four patriots and this is where both the fun and plot begins. It is based on a serious subject - getting the formula for the anti-virus to save the people of Peking - but is filled with both some tension as well as comedy and one-liners and barbs such as "your father raised you on left overs from the outhouse" and "may your children be more in-bred every generation" Liu Ye plays a Chinese playing a Japanese chef in a Japanese restaurant in a Chinese town that is deserted. there are hand signals, passed messages, trickery of all kinds to get the formula. The escort goes bonkers, paints himself red and swings from the ceiling. It is better than an American soap opera on television. It is both exciting and fun to watch. I bought it because I admire the work of Liu Ye and he doesn't disappoint. I give it 5 stars.
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Format: DVD
Very typical Chinese historical drama with quality acting, sets, costuming, props & action scenes. The writer takes literary liberties with known documented occurrences of occupying Japanese testing cholera on Chinese civilians in the years leading up to WWII.
A, at times, slapstick comedic rendition of some Chinese intelligence agents acting as Japanese Kabuki and other unusual roles in order to elicit an antidote from a captured Japanese officer and his scientist. And, at other times, a to-the-death standoff confrontation with the occupying military who have them surrounded.

What lowers it's rating? First, the script tended to jump about, especially time periods which to a non-Mandarin speaking person made it difficult to follow. Second, the English subtitles moved far too quickly to both view the movie and finish reading the text. If we add time for comprehension then the storyline came across as more confusing than it needed to be. Not a comfortable flow to how the story was presented.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Completely wacky film, I loved it. At first our heroes seem to be just a bizarre collection of half-wits, but once we peek behind the facade they are a pretty interesting troupe. I'll watch this again.
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