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In China They Eat Dogs (1999)
"I Kina spiser de hunde" (original title)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 13,702 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 34 critic

Two brothers, one cold and ruthless, the other sensitive and reluctant, and their brutal misadventures.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Arvid
...
Tomas Villum Jensen ...
Peter
Peter Gantzler ...
Franz
...
Hanne
Line Kruse ...
Astrid
Brian Patterson ...
Vuk
Søren Sætter-Lassen ...
Henning (as Søren Sætter Lassen)
Lester Wiese ...
Richard
...
Bartender
Lasse Lunderskov ...
Jørgen
Preben Harris ...
Slavko Labovic ...
Zarko Labovic ...
Onkel (Uncle)
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Storyline

Arvid is a regular bank clerk, whose life changes radically when he knocks out the bank robber Franz with his squash racket. A few days later Franz's wife visits him lamenting that she needed the swag for an IVF. To obtain the money Arvid and his criminal brother Harald plan a thievery, which ends bloodily and drags them into real trouble. Written by Moritz Muehlenhoff <jmm@inutil.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Release Date:

10 September 1999 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

In China They Eat Dogs  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,520,625 (Denmark) (24 December 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The alarm clock in the opening sequence shows 6:45 am and a while later, it starts beeping but still shows 6:45 am. See more »

Quotes

Richard: [Richard just found out that bartender is a Devil] Dammit, I should've known... you little devil you... but I haven't seen you before!
Bartender: It's also my first pick-up
See more »

Connections

Followed by Old Men in New Cars: In China They Eat Dogs II (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An awesome modern Danish movie
7 August 1999 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

Reviewing a movie like this is a tough one, to say the least. The action takes place in inner-city Copenhagen, Denmark, and knowing the background culture and language of this location is a very large part of being able to fully appreciate this film.

The story starts out as a relatively normal one about a bank clerk who averts a bank robbery, mostly by chance, is interviewed on national telivision, yet somehow still manages to bore his girlfriend enough for her to dump him, all in the same day. It then takes a surreal twist as the wife of the now jailed bank robber barges into his apartment and gives him a guilt trip about why he couldn't just have let the bank robber take the money so she could get the expensive operation she needs for them to be able to have a much-wanted baby. The bank clerk is mightily confused by all this, and approaches his criminal brother with ideas of robbing one of the bank's cash-transport vehicles (in a rather special way) and helping the bank robber of of jail in order to reunite them and make things well again.

This is when one discovers the true nature of the film.

The bank clerk's brother is basically a complete psycho with his own very special right/wrong codex (at one point he tells us how in China it is ok to eat dogs, and that it's up to oneself what is right and wrong - hence the title). As things progress, it becomes clear the movie is quite un-serious, and it becomes very easy to just sit back and enjoy the bizarre and often twisted situations that arise.

Two young chain-smoking chefs working for the criminal brother deliver the much-needed comical relief, responding to the brother's orders of dumping yet another corpse out in the Danish marsh with lines like "But.. but we're just cooks"!

It is impossible to really do the movie justice with any form of narration. Much of the action would sound very disturbing if retold, but when seen along with the characters' expressions and in light of the whole movie, including the refreshingly unexpected ending, it is hard to take very seriously.

The dialogue of the movie, reminiscent of classics like Pulp Fiction and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, is what really shines through. As the story unfolds and becomes more and more far-fetched, each line of dialogue becomes a stand-alone punchline in as of itself, leaving most audiences (at least the ones I've been with) roaring with laughter.

Kim Bodnia of "Nattevagten" (1994), "Pusher" (1996) and "Bleeder" (1999) fame delivers yet another stunning performance as the psycho criminal brother who puts his version of family values above anything else in life (including the lives of anybody else in his way) - just like the rivaling gang of ethnic heritage do in the film.

A must-see for anyone with an appreciation for twisted humor, especially if one is in a position to appreciate all the references to the background culture - though probably a bit hard to swallow for some (read: reserved) people.


44 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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