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THE BUTCHER, THE CHEF AND THE SWORDSMAN follows the journey of a mystical blade as it passes through the hands of three ambitious men. As the interwoven story unfolds, they find that the blade possesses the power to dramatically change the fate of each of its owners. The Butcher is a simple man in love with a beautiful courtesan, but is rebuffed each time he approaches her. The Chef is a handsome loner obsessed with seeking vengeance for the slaughter of his family. The Swordsman, the son of a legendary warrior, is consumed by the desire to eclipse his father in both power and fame. Their stories comes full circle as each man takes possession of the mystical blade and discovers its double edge--- the great power it bestows is matched by even greater danger. Written by
Fox International Productions
Movie reviewers invited to screenings usually see it as their job to sit through a movie, no matter how bad it is. However, during the media screening of this film, many reviewers walked out after 10 minutes. More walked out before half-an-hour into the screening.
It could be because they do not understand the film as there were no subtitles at the screening, but I get the feeling that those who walked out just couldn't stand watching such trash. Stoically, I stayed on.
The plot is purportedly about a mystical blade which looks like an old chopping knife. As it passes through the hands of the titular characters, each with different motivations, it shapes their destinies. The Butcher (Liu Xiaoye) is a fat slob in love with a beautiful courtesan (Kitty Zhang), but is rebuffed each time he approaches her. The Chef (Masanobu Ando) is a loner bent on seeking revenge for the slaughter of his family. The Swordsman (Ashton Xu), the son of a legendary warrior, is consumed by the desire to eclipse his father in both power and fame.
Their stories intertwine as each man takes possession of the mystical blade and discovers the power and the danger it brings.
I am sure there will be some smart alecs who will see this as a work of a genius but it was sheer torture sitting through this unholy trash, trying to figure out what is happening and why. The scenes are so devoid of logic and interest that the movie would make the puerile eye-candy flick, Sucker Punch, look like a classic art flick of epic proportions. The actors seem to have been selected for their weird circus side-show looks than for how well they can act. There are curious looking midgets in the cast and even one made up to look like Jabba The Hutt.
Director Wuershan, who used to shoot adverts, fails miserably at trying his hand on a feature film. He throws in all sorts of crazy, pop culture stuff and even repeating an aria from Puccini's Tosca, in a bid to lend style (or a sense of art) to the scenes. But it turns out to be more of an unintentional comedy - or a tragicomedy. The few sequences that look interesting enough are those dealing with food. Makes me wonder what sort of hallucinatory drug Wuershan was on when he made this film. (limchangmoh.blogspot.com)
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