×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman

If a clothes dryer could scream in Chinese, it would resemble this eagerly incoherent film.

With:
With: Masanobu Ando, Kitty Zhang, You Benchang, Liu Xiaoye, Ashton Xu. (Mandarin dialogue)

If a clothes dryer could scream in Chinese, it would resemble the eagerly incoherent “The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman,” which probably only needs ” … His Wife and Her Lover” to achieve total incomprehensibility. Set in feudal-era China of grotesque extremes, Wuershan’s debut feature reps an inauspicious beginning for Fox’s foray into China, since even fanboys will be hard-pressed to engage with this quasi-martial-arts epic or even follow its ornate, overlapping plotlines. Of course, midnight screenings and some cultish enthusiasm are always possible.

That “The Butcher” is being “presented” by helmer Doug Liman is odd, because the film and its throw-it-all-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach is so antithetical to the kind of rhythmic, coherent action of Liman’s “The Bourne Identity.” There’s certainly a lot in “The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman” — jealousy, lust, revenge, a mythic kitchen implement, a grotesque, singing brothel owner, karaoke, animation, vintage kung fu clips and epic combat — but it’s all a rather messy, inedible stew. Auds in search of pure stimulus may respond, but basically, this food movie is out to lunch.

The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman

Hong Kong-China-U.S.

Production: A Fox Intl. Prods., Taihe Universal Film Investment Co., First Cuts Features, Union Voole Technology Co., Zixuxuanyang Cultural Development Co., Bolong Investment Co. presentation of a Fox Intl. Prods. (Greater China)/First Cuts Features production, in association with Zhongxunxincheng Advertising Co. and One Production Co. (International sales: Golden Network Asia, Hong Kong.) Produced by Daniel Yu, Tang Xiru. Executive producers, Tang Xiru, Shao Yiding, Yang Yang, Yao Jinlong, Wang Wei, Doug Liman. Directed by Wuershan. Screenplay, Zhang Jiajia, Tang Que, Ma Luoshan, Wu, based on the sort story "The Legend of the Kitchen Knife," by An Changhe.

Crew: Camera (color), Michal Tywoniuk; editor, Huang Zhe; music, Gong Geer, Dead J, Miquia; music supervisor, Miquia; production designer, Hao Yi; costume designer, Hao Yi. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Midnight Madness), Sept. 15, 2010. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Masanobu Ando, Kitty Zhang, You Benchang, Liu Xiaoye, Ashton Xu. (Mandarin dialogue)

More Film

  • Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) and Bella (Amber)

    China's Bona Film Boards Brad Pitt's 'Ad Astra,' 'A Dog's Way Home' (EXCLUSIVE)

    China’s Bona Film Group is co-financing Brad Pitt space adventure “Ad Astra,” one of several films in a strong slate of international movies the company plans to release in the Middle Kingdom over the next year. Bona has also acquired Roland Emmerich’s war spectacular “Midway” and is investing in “A Dog’s Way Home,” the sequel [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Sets Pre-Sales Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” sets a pre-sales record, “Bohemian Rhapsody” hits a milestone, and SAG-AFTRA promotes four executives.  PRE-SALES RECORD “Aquaman” has set a pre-sales record for Atom Tickets, topping “Deadpool 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Black Panther.” “Clearly, ‘Aquaman’ has captured the attention of movie fans with its larger-than-life adventure that must [...]

  • 'Liga' Kicks Off At Ventana Sur's

    Ventana Sur: 'La Liga' Kicks Off at Buenos Aires' Animation!

    Spain’s Quirino Awards, Argentina’s Animation! and Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival, three key events in Ibero-American animation, will join forces to create La Liga (The League), as announced Wednesday at an Animation! round table hosted by the Quirino Awards, titled “Iberoamerican Alliance Models.” Speakers included Quirino Awards promoter José Luis Farias, Mexico’s Pixelatl director José Iñesta, Gonzalo [...]

  • The Quake Review

    Film Review: 'The Quake'

    Roar Uthaug’s 2015 “The Wave” revived the pleasures of the 1970s disaster-movie cycle in a form that seemed purer than the never-quite-dead genre’s recent Stateside incarnations — most of which seem to involve Dwayne Johnson in a generic pileup of CGI perils. “The Wave” wasn’t high art, but it was entertainment that delivered some standard [...]

  • The Mule trailer

    Film Review: Clint Eastwood in 'The Mule'

    From Dirty Harry to … dirty grandpa, Clint Eastwood certainly has a type of character that he plays best, and “The Mule” finds him squarely in his comfort zone, appearing as a surly old horticulturalist who, at age 90, has become perhaps the most reliable drug runner for the Sinaloa cartel, evading detection for nearly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content