Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there, as Bullets reveals itself not so much an action epic as it is a slapstick comedy in a story of political poseurs, full of elements that encounter difficulty in translation. I do, however, appreciate its odd sense of humor, which could be classified as gallows at times. Example: When the question of whether the governor's son ate one or two meals is raised, it’s answered by stabbing his stomach and pulling out the contents of his guts. That's a new one.
All but absent from Hollywood after the Dragonball: Evolution debacle, the great Chow Yun-Fat has a ball (who wouldn’t in his snappy, GQ-ready wardrobe?), but his spirit can't quite burst into infectiousness for the viewer — or at least this viewer, who slurps up Asian films like pho noodles drowned in Sriracha.
Director/writer Jiang Wen (arguably better-known as an actor, with credits like Warriors of Heaven and Earth) harbors an over-reliance on CGI effects in the action scenes. It could be argued that many of his contemporaries do, too, but something — budgetary restrictions, perhaps? — keep the effects from calling attention to themselves. —Rod Lott
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