Acclaimed actor and director Jiang Wen‘s (姜文) latest film, Gone With the Bullets <一步之遙> finally held its long-awaited premiere at Beijing’s National Stadium this week. All the buzz created over the grand premiere event, however, failed to save the movie from scathing criticism from film critics and viewers.
Based on fictional events surrounding a beauty pageant set in 1920s Shanghai, Gone With the Bullets stars Jiang Wen, Shu Qi (舒淇), Ge You (葛優) and Zhou Yun (周韻). The film was previously rejected by China’s film censors, and many are curious as to what changes had been made on the current approved version. According to an anonymous source who has seen the original cut of the film, the edits were not major and were mainly made to the script such that references to actual historical events or places were replaced with fictional names. The plot or content of the film was thus not affected by the new edits.
Despite the audience’s initial anticipation, they remained silently indifferent for the rest of the movie. Several members of the audience also left halfway through the screening.
From the professional film community, critics panned the movie for trying too hard to deviate from mainstream tastes. Producer Wu Zhishuo (吳志碩) remarked, “Apart from the soundtrack, this movie is all over the place. This is a romantic musical, but the quality is below Jay Chou‘s (周杰倫) The Rooftop <天台>. I feel like Jiang Wen has been overly praised by the media and is thus so arrogant that he does not take into account at all what the audience wants. This is how he produced such a self-aggrandizing, individualistic and nonsensical film.”
Another notable film critic remarked on his Weibo, “I was ultimately disappointed by the film, as both the story and the script are too forgettable. Even good visual effects cannot save the film. A movie can be as quirky or crazy as it wants to be, as long as it is an enjoyable movie. I really don’t want to say this is the year’s worst movie. Jiang Wen was overly confident. The media gave the movie too much hype, and the style of the movie was way too pretentious!”
Some viewers said Gone With the Bullets was even worse than the poorly-rated Breakup Guru <分手大師> by Deng Chao (邓超).
“Gone With the Bullets” Trailer
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This article is written by Jingles for JayneStars.com.