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Yun-Fat Chow, Jiang Wen, You Ge, Jun Hu, Carina Lau ... see more see more... , Yun Zhou , Kun Chen , Yao Lu , Jiang Wu , Bing Bai , Li Ming Hu , Shao Bing , Liao Fan , John Do , Li Jing , Zhang Mo , Wei Xiao , Feng Xiaogang , Miao Pu , Xiaogang Feng , Wen Jiang , Pu Miao

Since its release this year, Let the Bullets Fly has been lauded across the globe for its stunning mix of dark comedy and eye-popping violence. In China, this action-comedy starring Chow Yun-Fat has b... read more read more...ecome the highest-grossing domestic film of all time. Set in 1920s Sichuan, the film tells the tale of the bandit "Pocky" Zhang Mazi, who poses as a local governor in a dusty town- but finds himself at odds with the local mobster, who is not eager to share his turf with another drifter. A complex and deadly series of mind-games ensues between the two crooks, which are as violent as they are hilarious. The rare foreign-language comedy that translates without a hitch, Let the Bullets Fly will have you falling out of your seat with laughter. -- (C) Variance

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72% liked it

4,326 ratings


72% liked it

29 critics

Unrated, 2 hr. 12 min.

Directed by: Wen Jiang

Release Date: March 2, 2012

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DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012

Stats: 323 reviews


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Flixster Reviews (323)

  • March 19, 2013
    An outrageous, high-octane and uproariously entertaining action-packed comedy. A stylish, superbly crafted and brilliantly performed movie that has lots to offer. An utterly hilarious and fun movie that combines incredible comedy, sensational action sequences and great set pieces... read more. A Shakespearean tradition, stuffed with lively characters, dramatic stand-offs, wonderful laughs and a great story. A masterpiece. A true work of insane remarkable art. An bullet-blasting, two hour roller-coaster ride of undeniable fun and excitement. I loved this movie. A spectacular and really funny action movie that's fierce, really cool and wildly epic. Chow Yun-Fat is truly brilliant and hilarious. Jiang Wen is outstanding. Ge You is outrageous. You, Wien and Yun-Fat play each other off wonderfully and shine with magnificent chemistry. They give some very impressive and damn near perfect performances. It`s almost too much fun to handle and even then you cant help but enjoy it. An instant classic. Director and star, Jiang Wen crafts a superb and magnetic action picture that is more than meets the eye.
  • August 16, 2011
    A big sack of fun is this one, clever, funny and always enjoyable. The story comes and goes a bit too much around the middle, but the final act wraps everything so well. The commie-oriented message, our hero taking away goods from the evil capitalist bad guy and giving them to th... read moree people, acquires a more complex structure thanks to a solid script. The "people" are just as greedy as the bad guy, if not more.
  • June 24, 2011
    Jiang Wen's Let the Bullets Fly thinks outside the box when it comes to comedic action films and that works in its favor.

    Bandits taking on bandits sums up this film's story, and while it easily pushes out past 2 hours, the eccentric style and swift pacing help move this

    ... read more thing along. The subject matter isn't hard to follow, but the constant deception that occurs throughout the picture requires attention to keep up with what's going on. It also adds to the fun.

    Let the Bullets Fly has a title that makes it sound like some sort of ultimate shooter. Well, it isn't. Yes, there are bloody moments and quite a number of guns going off, but this isn't a film that thrives on its action. If anything it is just as memorable for its witty and nicely executed dialogue.

    Jiang Wen pulls double duty as director and starring as one of the main characters. Wen, along with Chow Yun-Fat, put together some solid performances as the film's leads. Chow Yun-Fat is really an enjoyable person to watch in here.

    It's easy to see that time and effort were put into Let the Bullets Fly, and that's why it is a recommendable film.

  • March 11, 2012
    Let The Bullets Fly is unusually complex for a comedy, but it's also one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. With a great cast of characters and lots of funny jokes it was all around just a fun experience.

    Let the Bullets Fly is set in China during the warring 19... read more20s, notorious bandit chief Zhang descends upon a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor, an identity that he had hijacked from Old Tang. Hell-bent on making a fast buck, Zhang soon meets his match in the tyrannical local gentry Huang as a deadly battle of wit ensues. I really enjoyed complexity in movies, especially when it's this much fun and enjoyable. I don't think I've ever seen another comedy with so many funny and smart characters. There fun, smart, brutal, and they add more fun to the movie with each character having there own personality. Now one thing I think audiences will be disappointed in is that there isn't much violence, but I don't they'll mind with the fun they'll have watching this.

    The cast of this movie is well put together and they deliver great performances to get behind. Each actor felt so perfect and fit perfectly into there character and they got great comedic timing. My favorite of these performances is Yun-Fat Chow as he's pretty effective and fun in a comedic role. I will praise the few scenes of violence even though they're not long, what come afterward are always some smart humor. Now I don't know about other reviewers, but I just love the location where this was filmed. It's a beautiful country and I can't think of a better place they could have shot it.

    Let The Bullets Fly is a smart complex comedy with tons of hilarious jokes and tons of fun. It's a comedy unlike anything you've seen before and it'll definitely will bring enjoyment for anyone looking for a laugh.
  • July 29, 2011
    Let the Bullets Fly is one of the better Chinese comedies I've seen. This action full film is written and directed by Jiang Wen, based on a story by Ma Shitu, a famous Sichuanese writer. The film is set in Sichuan during the 1920s when the bandit Zhang (Jiang Wen) descends upon a... read more town posing as its new mayor. The film also stars Chow Yun-fat, Carina Lau, Ge You, Chen Kun and Zhou Yun. Casting was so well done that I thought that roles are just made for those actors!

    The film's script went through over thirty drafts before Jiang Wen was happy with it, and you can see it in the final cut: almost everything was done perfectly. With its two versions (one in Mandarin and one in Sichuanese), the film broke several box office records in Mainland China and Hong Kong, and has received critical acclaim, when it was released.

    I enjoyed most of it (it had subtitles :-) ) and if you love to experience rollicking Chinese western directed with cinematic gumption, it's your turn!
  • March 28, 2012
    I was so confused by the end of this film about exactly how many times the plot twisted and turned from beginning to end that I had to close my eyes and think about what just happened scene by scene. And then I thought to myself...screw it, I laughed and enjoyed this dark action... read more adventure comedy.

    The acting is pretty solid. Many people won't know who any of the main guys are outside of Chow Yun-Fat, but this harkens back to the days of Kung Fu Hustle and Stephen Chow. If you've ever seen that (I recommend it highly if you haven't), it has that same kind of feel; Silliness and absurdity with touches of great writing and dialogue.

    It's stylish environmentally and touching emotionally in certain moments, but it always ends up making you laugh when the scene finishes. Like I said earlier though, my main gripes that knock this down to the score I gave it have to deal with the terrible CGI and confusing journey to get to the conclusion. I'm a big fan of foreign action/comedy films and this one did its job of keeping me interested through the entire 2 hour run time.
  • June 27, 2011
    Entertaining Chinese western with Asian superstars Jun Hu and Chow Yun-Fat. Let the Bullets Fly has so many twists and turns that your almost left dizzy at the end, but it's good fun and worthwhile in the end
  • March 4, 2013
    Wow...this was bad! Add a bunch of terrible CGI and blindingly fast subtitles to the mix and you have one big pile of poo.
  • June 13, 2012
    Combining various elements from martial arts flicks, old fashioned period pieces, modern blockbusters, spaghetti westerns, Cohen Brother dark comedies, and even 1930's Marx Brother slapstick comedies, Wen Jiang (writer, director and lead actor) has concocted an epic genre mishmas... read moreh that, against all possible odds, manages to juggle its multiple homages with ease, and despite some jarring tonal shifts, largely flies high in terms of success as an overall film. Set in 1920's China, a group of nine bandits led by a charismatic leader who may be the elusive and cunning outlaw "Pocky Zhang", attempt to scam the peaceful Goose Town out of riches by masquerading as government officials and plundering the tax money. However, after offending the richest man in the village, the sinister Master Huang (Yun-Fat Chow), one of their own is killed by Huang's minions, and vengeance must be dealt as result.

    Running a surprisingly long 132 minutes, after a train plundering/assassination prologue seemingly copied directly from another interesting asian genre-mashup; The Good, The Bad, and The Weird, the film gains a general fast pace, which it keeps for the great majority of the time. Once the rivalry between the outlaws and Master Huang is established, the film largely becomes a variety of schemes by one party to destroy the other to varying degrees of success. Using extensive runtime to his advantage, Jiang is able to examine this physical and psychological warfare in a comedic and dramatic light, and more than often mixes the two polars together for scenes that simultaneously convey humanistic emotion, and force the audience to become squeamishly uncomfortable as to the hilarity taking place in the seemingly brutal moment. An example of this compelling, yet slightly off putting mixture of comedy and drama can be found in the character of Huang's hired impersonator (Wu Jiang). Early in the film, this character is captured by the bandits as a hostage, but he never stops his dead-on impersonation of his employer, even when his life is on the line during what could easily be considered a torture sequence. It's an absurd scene, but it's also grim as well: We, as an audience, are essentially laughing at the misery of a relatively innocent man. Pulling off a sequence such as this gives extreme credit to the actor, Wu Jiang, and the director.

    When blending together so many separate genres at one time, problems regarding tonal shifts would seem to almost be a mandatory dilemma, but one that still must be dealt with. Far too frequently, Wen Jiang shifts the tone to fit whatever situation is taking place; which means every three or so scenes, a jarring change occurs. It almost comes off that Jiang is not creating one whole movie, but rather multiple shorter scenes from separate movies, with each film focused on one genre rather than many. While combining both dramatic and comedic situations can operate successfully because of the acting and direction, no matter the context, frequent drastic alterations in tone cannot, or at least in the great majority of the time, succeed.

    Despite problems in terms of changing tone, Jiang's ambitious genre mashup still largely works due to its fine performances, and Jiang's abilities as a director. It's impossible to describe as one individual niche of cinema, which proves how well the film excels at balancing its multiple genres at once. I'd recommend the film as a dark comedy, a foreign blockbuster, or a insightful western with a strong scenery change, but since it doesn't fit the mold to any of these, I'll just have to recommend the film in general. This is a cinematic experience that couldn't be declared perfect, but is certainly unlike anything you'll see this year. A true hidden gem.

    Grade: B+
  • fb100002946249850
    June 11, 2012
    Its befitting that I write as less as possible about "Let the Bullets Fly". Its a careless screenplay that insults its viewers, the kind which might blow up a mine all of a sudden, cause there's nothing else that seems to happen. There must something wrong with the subtitles I ha... read mored, cause nothing else can explain to me how this film broke several box office records and won critical acclaim in China.
    I fell asleep twice and was itching for the credits all throughout.
    Story? A bandit comes to a small town, scared shitless of its local goons and impersonates as its mayor. Ruckus results.

    Rating - 1 Star

Critic Reviews

Ben Sachs
March 29, 2012
Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

This period action comedy by Jiang Wen is great fun in the Shakespearean tradition, stuffed with lively characters, dramatic stand-offs, and stolen-identity subplots. Full Review

Colin Covert
March 22, 2012
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

After watching it, I was as confused -- and giddy -- as if I had been rolled down a hill in a rain barrel. For unmitigated insanity, this is a hard film to beat. Full Review

Soren Anderson
March 8, 2012
Soren Anderson, Seattle Times

Jiang directs with great vigor, serving up plenty of blood and a lot of laughs as he turns his picture into a propulsive blast. Full Review

Stephen Whitty
March 2, 2012
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

See it now, uncut and in widescreen, before it disappears - and then reappears, years later, referenced in some Quentin Tarantino picture. Full Review

Liam Lacey
March 2, 2012
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

Along with the familiar East-meets-West elements derived from Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone, Jiang offers cleverly choreographed action scenes and fun-house mirror complications. Full Review

V.A. Musetto
March 2, 2012
V.A. Musetto, New York Post

Word is that Jiang went though 30 drafts of the script before he was satisfied. Perhaps he should have gone for 31. Full Review

Robert Abele
March 1, 2012
Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

Not exactly a western, barely an action film and hardly a historical drama, the Chinese saga "Let the Bullets Fly" promises genre pleasures it routinely leaves un-triggered in its chamber. Full Review

Jeannette Catsoulis
March 1, 2012
Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

At least 30 minutes and several scams too long, the plot passes from amusing to confounding long before the final double-cross. Full Review

Joe Morgenstern
March 1, 2012
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"Let the Bullets Fly" has a clearly defined moral dimension, but Mr. Jiang, an absurdist at heart, never lets it interfere with the fun. Full Review

Greg Quill
March 1, 2012
Greg Quill, Toronto Star

A ribald mess of a farce whose finer qualities will likely be lost on non-Chinese-speaking audiences and others not familiar with 1920s warlord lore. Full Review

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    • Tang: My ass hurts.
    • Pocky Zhang: Counselor, your ass is in that tree. I doubt that you can feel it.
    • Tang: There's something else I want to tell you, I lied about two other things.
    • Pocky Zhang: That doesn't matter.
    • Tang: But I need to confess to you before I die.
    • Pocky Zhang: Okay, what's the first thing?
    • Tang: Well, I want to tell you the second thing first.

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