A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
It might have been better if Zhang had steered away from the Coen Brothers' plot
Zhang's latest is a remake of the Coen Brothers' debut film, Blood Simple. It's a slightly more comic adaptation, set in the distant past in the beautiful Gobi (?) desert. It opens wonderfully with the beautiful colors and impeccable cinematography that have always been a trademark of Zhang Yimou. Unfortunately, when it gets into the Blood Simple plot, it becomes very mechanical. I'd say that it lacks suspense because I know the story, but I've seen Blood Simple half a dozen times and it holds up every time. Every time, the tautness of the plot works. There's just something a little bland about this adaptation. I'd still moderately recommend it for the visuals, and the vibrant opening sequence, where the titular woman (Ni Yan, who is pretty good though she can be annoying at times, too) buys the titular gun from a wacky Persian salesman.
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