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The Missing Gun (2002) More at IMDbPro »Xun qiang (original title)

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The Missing Gun -- While searching for his missing gun, a small-town cop learns that his ex-girlfriend has been shot and killed...and the bullet appears to have been fired from his gun.
The Missing Gun -- Small-town policeman Ma Shan wakes up one morning to discover that his gun is missing. During his search, things take a sinister turn when his first love turns up dead and the bullet appears to be from his gun.


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Release Date:
31 October 2002 (Australia) See more »
Small-town policeman Ma Shan wakes up one morning to discover that his gun is missing. During his search, things take a sinister turn when his first love turns up dead and the bullet appears to be from his gun. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A bit slow, but an interesting culture lesson for Americans See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)

Wen Jiang ... Ma Shan
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gang Deng ... Sgt. Huang
Nina Huang Fan ... Ma Juan (as Huang Fan)

Shi Liang ... Zhou Xiao Gang
Xiaoning Liu
Jing Ning ... Li Xiao-meng
Yujuan Wu ... Han Xiaoyun
Wei Xiaoping ... Liu
Pan Yong

Directed by
Chuan Lu 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Chuan Lu 

Produced by
Biao Cao .... producer
Yang Du .... executive producer
Wen Jiang .... producer
Dong-ming Shi .... executive producer
Gang Tong .... executive producer
Zhongjun Wang .... producer
Zhonglei Wang .... executive producer
Buting Yang .... producer
Cinematography by
Zhengyu Xie 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jianhua Liu .... costumer
Other crew
Peggy Lee .... production controller

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Xun qiang" - China (original title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
90 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

China's first film to be digitally projected in a Chinese cinema.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Pirated Copy (2004)See more »


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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
A bit slow, but an interesting culture lesson for Americans, 24 September 2004
Author: anhedonia from Planet Earth

Anyone expecting a John Woo/Ringo Lam-type actioner will be sorely disappointed by this Chinese film, "The Missing Gun." Director Lu Chuan adopts western film-making techniques, but paces his film deliberately, not hurrying through the motions or adopting slam-bang action to tell his story.

You could draw parallels to Walter Hill's "48 HRS." (1982) and Akira Kurosawa's "Stray Dog" (1949), both of which dealt with similar stories of a police officer losing his handgun, which falls into the hands of a criminal.

"The Missing Gun" isn't as action-packed as Hill's film or as perceptive and intriguing as Kurosawa's. Then again, emulating Kurosawa is no easy task.

But the film provides an interesting lesson about gun culture. In this country, we have a nation obsessed with owning firearms. In "The Missing Gun," the protagonist is a police officer Ma Shan (Jiang Wen) facing embarrassment, ridicule and shame for having lost his service pistol. Private ownership of guns is banned so the police know exactly how many bullets are left in the weapon.

I am not advocating banning gun-ownership in this country, but "The Missing Gun" provides an intriguing cultural lesson, especially when we have an American president and congressional leaders who kowtowed to the gun lobby and recently let lapse the assault weapons ban, apparently not seeing the harm in letting the public purchase Uzis and AK-47s. Someone has still to explain to me why these weapons are needed to hunt.

"The Missing Gun" does not adopt film-making styles seen in the works of Zhang Yimou or Chen Kaige. This film definitely has a western influence. The camera moves quickly, there are quick cuts and for a low-budget film - it was apparently shot for about $250,000 - the cinematography is spectacularly good. But instead of clichéd storytelling techniques, Lu Chuan gives us some novelty. There's a delightful chase scene and his characters certainly aren't conventional. Ma Shan spends much of the first act asking various people whether they've stolen his gun. But there's a sense of mystery to all this, because we're never sure if they're being truthful. And the director opts for a denouement that's unexpected, especially if you've grown up with American films.

"The Missing Gun" is by no means a masterpiece. But it offers more insight into human nature than much of what Hollywood churns out these days. And if you're in the mood for something different, a film that takes its time unraveling the mystery, this film has much to offer the discriminating moviegoer.

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