A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop: movie review
Set in the desert, 'A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop' is the tale of double and triple crosses as an old miser discovers his wife is having an affair and hires an assassin.
The Chinese director Zhang Yimou is no doubt best known to general audiences not for his movies but for his tutti-frutti over-the-top staging of the Beijing Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies. Actually, his most recent movies, â€śCurse of the Golden Flower,â€ť "House of Flying Daggers,â€ť and â€śHero,â€ť were also pretty tutti-frutti.
There was a time, however, when Zhangâ€™s films were hallmarks of restraint and sensitivity (e.g., â€śThe Story of Qiu Ju,â€ť â€śRaise the Red Lanternâ€ť). His latest film, â€śA Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop,â€ť is a loose remake of the Coen Brothers' noir thriller â€śBlood Simple,â€ť and itâ€™s the most scaled-back of his movies in some time. Unfortunately, simplicity is its only virtue.
Set mostly in the desert, this tale of double and triple crosses involving an old miser (Ni Dahong) and his tarty young wife (Yan Ni) is replete with boisterously unfunny black slapstick. Zhang needs to reconnect with the sensibility â€“ fierce, principled, humanistic â€“ that made him one of Chinaâ€™s finest film artists. Grade: C (Rated R for some violence.)