Jiang Wen’s Gone with the Bullets is 140 minutes of overzealous ambitious madness that makes Baz Luhrmann look vanilla.
There’s a phenomenal kinetic energy present, as they aim to attract both Western and Eastern audiences, yet there is no connection between the film’s narrative and audience enjoyment.
The bloated, restraint-free narrative remains wildly out of control throughout, resulting in a lack of identity or purpose.
The stylistic nods to Hollywood classics, use of newsreels, and 1920s slapstick entertain in their individual patches. Overall, however, the film’s overwhelming energy consumes it, leaving behind one colourful mess.
Gone with the Bullets‘ energy could have been infectious joy if there was any form of focus. However nearly two-and-a-half hours of misplaced enthusiasm can only be enjoyed for so long.
CAST: Jiang Wen, Ge You, Zhou Yun, Shu Qi
DIRECTOR: Jiang Wen
WRITERS: Jiang Wen, Guo Junji
SYNOPSIS: Set in 1920s Shanghai, Ma Zouri and Xiang Feitian establish a notorious beauty pageant called the Flowers Competition. All of the city’s elite attend the gala event, but when Wanyan Ying unexpectedly wins, it sets into motion a series of tragic events that change their destinies.