A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop

Rated 3.0

What a strange cinematic undertaking this is. The great Yimou Zhang (The Road Home) has loosely remade the Coen brothers’ feature debut, Blood Simple, with a lot of extra color and occasionally unwelcome deviations and comic missteps. Still, seeing the plot transported to a Chinese desert a long time ago is mostly interesting. It’s a bold move to try to remake the Coen brothers, and Zhang’s effort is appreciated. Though a scene when some noodle shop employees perform some noodle-making acrobatics is the best moment in the movie. Nobody made noodles in Blood Simple. Not that I can recall. Some of the acting choices are less than desirable—where’s Frances McDormand when you need her?—but Benshan Zhao is good as the lawman turned killer, essentially reprising the role played by M. Emmet Walsh in the original. Not a great movie, but worth viewing if you are a Coen fan.