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|Index||41 reviews in total|
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
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.
I have seen both IN CHINA THEY EAT DOGS and it's prequel, OLD MEN IN
NEW CARS, and I have to say that this is the best of them. Where OLD
MEN is a little more formulaic and recognizable as an average crime
comedy, CHINA has fantastically bizarre elements that surprise and
alarm. It's amazing how comical death can be if handled in the right
The film does bring up genuinely philosophical questions of right and wrong that, in my household, spurred interesting discussions about morality vs. social norm.
By the end of the film you most likely will be thinking about the same things and hoping that in your last hours you too will be able to avoid the men in the funny pants.
I am always a bit shy when it comes to laughing out loud, especially when i'm alone, but this movie has almost therapeutical qualities. In the beginning i was a bit astonished about the sheer and unexpected brutality that occurs quite sudden after a very soft entry. But pretty soon i realised the twinkling in the author's eye, and i started to laugh 'til i almost fainted. The dialogues are captivating, the characters convincingly weird and Arvid's decline follows some unforgettable kind of crude and funny "inevitabilism". This is the funniest actioncomedy i've seen for years. Refreshingly different, astoundingly perfect. A true recommendation not only for friends of the genre. I will buy it on Video or DVD, my highest private ranking.
In my opinion one of the greatest pulp movies ever. The only thing that hurts during the first time watching the film is the first 30 or 40 Minutes you've got to survive (they are quite boring) but in the end and looked at it as a whole, everything fits perfectly together and will reward your patience. The most important factor that raises the rating is that the film is from Denmark and differs quite a lot from American pulp movies, that means the characters outer appearance, mentality and the locations the different scenes take place in create an 'European' atmosphere that in addition to a really cool and funny story gives this movie it's special and individual note. Watch it if you liked 'Snatch' or 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' by Guy Ritchie.
This movie invites obvious comparisons with Pulp Fiction and Lock, Stock &
Two Smoking Barrels, but that shouldn't make mislead you into thinking that
it's in any way derivative. In fact, this is a funny, psychotic crime caper
that's on a wavelength all of its own.
However, this film should be avoided at all costs if you don't have a taste for black comedy. Throughout the film the 'heroes' massacre their way, accidentally and on purpose, through the guilty and innocent alike, with each successive death drawing increasingly deadpan reactions from them. Harald (Kim Bodnia) opines that morality is completely relative, as 'In China you can just eat a whole dog'. And in the breath-takingly black final scene, all their crimes are forgiven by a... higher source, shall we say. Are the film-makers trying to draw attention to what happens when moral relativism runs wild, or are they just enjoying the mayhem along with the audience? It's hard to tell, but this movie is well worth catching as long as you can stomach its unconventional morality.
Action films are not the most prominent type of Nordic cinema, but not
entirely unheard of either. A good example is the Danish black comedy
In China They Eat Dogs that was eventually followed by a prequel Old
Men in New Cars in 2002. The story deals with Arvid Blixen (Dejan
Cukic), a mild-mannered bank clerk who is dumped by his girlfriend for
being too boring. After unexpectedly preventing a bank robbery, he
comes to re-evaluate his uneventful life and decides that he wants to
be a criminal instead to help out the robber Franz (Peter Gantzler)
whom he inadvertently sent to prison. With the help of his ruthless
restaurant owner brother Harald (Kim Bodnia), his cooks Martin and
Peter (Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Tomas Villum Jensen) and the hapless
kitchen assistant Vuk (Brian Patterson), Arvid gets involved in a
spectacular downward spiral of crime, after which nothing will be the
The movie doesn't allow itself to be bound by the limitations of realism and maintains a very dark comedic mood throughout. A lot of the appeal comes from the unusual nature of the characters: the gang members are not sharp-tongued gangsters like in many regular heist films, but instead rather shy and easily manipulated. Awkward silences take the place of clever insults and snappy comebacks the chemistry between the team burns quietly. The comical Martin and Peter, the unlucky, naive Vuk and the timid Arvid end up in increasingly uncontrollable situations where bodies start piling up and the direction of things slips out of control but everything is taken with confused Nordic reservedness, adding up to a pretty unique and quietly funny story. Interspersed with the main scenes are clips of a foreigner named Richard (Lester Wiese) narrating the story to a bartender (Jesper Christensen); the story lines are tied together in the bizarre supernatural ending that nevertheless oddly manages to fit in the film's casual state of mind effortlessly.
The action scenes are well created, especially the epic armoured van robbery, and the surprisingly brutal violence is only softened by the politically incorrect dark humour bubbling under the surface. The title"In China They Eat Dogs" is related to the theme of the relativity of morals; the will of a timid man wanting to be bold and true to himself in the midst of unpredictable twists of life is not left unrewarded at the end, but since everything is seen through thick satirical glasses, nothing can be taken too literally. To sum up, the movie successfully plays with the conventions of crime cinema and moral expectations of the audience, creating an enjoyable little movie that is both over-the-top and down-to-earth at the same time.
I was wondering why this movie just got a 7.something - saw the very
first comments on this and got kind of angry. What the heck went wrong
with you guys? Why need to compare this masterpiece by a boring
Tarantino? Seems the director got some jealous friends. But never-mind,
its nearly 10 years ago.
The Main-characters: Arvid, Harald, Vuk and the cooks went out to make danish movies famous, and thats what just happened: Im going to watch them all.
Take it as it comes: this movie is simply a must - great cast and an awesome dirty story. This one belongs into the the all-time 250 hall.
First time you'll laugh, second time you'll explore all the fine acting, finally and third time, you'll become jealous about killing a rock'n roll-band. Who has never dreamed about it ;)
This is a very funny movie that entertains you all the way. Something
happens from the beginning through the end. Even during the subtitles
stayed, to hear the last jokes. Many
of the things happening has been done before, but here is added some
Danish black humor. Like when one guy, shoots another guy, and then calmly
asks him to shut up. And even
though the poor guys brain is all over the room, you can't help laughing.
think there are 22 killings in the movie, but it's done in a way, so you
never takes it serious. You are always
aware that this is a movie, and it's all just for fun.
I think it can be compared to Pulp Fiction, for the way people gets killed, and to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in the way the main characters are trying to raise money, with all the problems and killing this leads to.
I will give this a 9 of 10, because it's a little superficial, and not totally original, but I haven't laughed so much for a long time. Not since I saw the other new Danish top comedy Den Eneste ene in the spring.
If you liked Pusher you'll love I Kina Spiser De Hunde.Pusher was hard-hitting,realistic look at pushers life in the city of Copenhagen while this one is more of a action/drama/comedy but impressive and funny. Kim Bodnia is as great as always,Dejan Cukic delivers good performance as his brother and the rest of the cast is great. A lot of stuff is happening in this one and every situation is funnier than the previous.I loved it and I have seen it at least as many times as Pusher.It is more enjoyable,with more interesting characters (Vuk alone is worth the price of the film) and there's always something happening. If you like this one,don't miss Gamle Mænd I Nye Biler (sequel).Not as funny,not as entertaining but definitely worth a look.
Hit action comedy from celebrated writer Anders Thomas Jensen and director (and former stuntman) Lasse Spang Olsen. Put-upon Arvid is left by his girlfriend, and when he manages to foil a bank robbery with a squash racket, his life goes from bad to worse, getting involved with hardened criminal brother Harald (the excellent Kim Bodnia, tough and hilariously deadpan). Perhaps the highest body count of a Danish movie ever (Arvid accidentally wastes entire rockband Red Warszawa with a machine gun), film suffers from occasional amateurish stunts, but is peppered with Jensen´s terrific dialogue, and a what-me-worry approach that is very rare among Danish filmmakers. Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Tomas Villum Jensen make a great comedic duo as the reluctant body disposers, who just want to be cooks. Framed by a strange supernatural story that is so politically incorrect that you can´t help but laugh out loud. *** (of ****)
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