DVD review: 'A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop'
While the original was a richly atmospheric thriller about a 1980s Texas saloon proprietor (Dan Hedaya) who hires a sleazy private detective (M. Emmet Walsh) to kill Hedaya’s unfaithful wife (Frances McDormand) and her boyfriend (John Getz), Yimou has a desert noodle shop owner (Ni Dahong) hiring an unscrupulous policeman (Sun Honglei) to do in an adulterous mate (Yan Ni) and her lover (Xiao Shenyang) in a pop-eyed, screwball comedy that resembles an Asian version of the Three Stooges — except when the characters start getting shot and stabbed and fractured in bloodily violent ways.
The visuals are undeniably gorgeous — as one might expect from this director — especially the panoramic day and night shots of the vast orange and yellow-striped desert in which the action takes place. But the characters and narrative are buffoonish and cartoonish, respectively, and the intent and tone of the original are definitely lost in translation. One cares little about watching the making-of DVD extras.
— Gene Triplett
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