This whimsically titled remake of the Coen Brothers Blood Simple is stylish enough, but ultimately fizzles. It’s easy to see why Zhang Yimou would have wanted to remake the Coen brothers first film. It was a stunner when it first came out, not much like it having been seen when it initially played. The Coen brothers went on to make some quirky and remarkable films, from Miller’s Crossing to Fargo and the cult fave The Big Lebowski. Still, Blood Simple remains my favorite.
Zhang Yimou is better known for House of Flying Daggers and Hero as well as some earlier moving films like Red Sorghum and Raise the Red Lantern. He makes gorgeous films, a real auteur, deeply colorful and this remake is no exception. Although there are as many deaths here as in the original, Yimou goes for a lighter feel. The original went for the darker side. In both though there is the famous blade through the hand scene – a knife in the original and a pair of scissors in the remake.
A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop follows the same basic narrative: jealous husband contracts a hit on his wife and her lover, just translated to Chinese culture and weaponry. If you’ve seen the original, this might be of interest – and it is entertaining. But if you have not, go for the gold standard.