Tears of the Black Tiger

Magnolia Home Entertainment

This exuberantly stylish Thai import, written and directed by Wisit Sasanatieng, smashes up Westerns, gangster movies, war films and overwrought romanticism, as well as parodies of same. Tears of the Black Tiger is a wildly unconventional and gutsy attempt, with a handful of striking shots, but it only works in brief spurts. In telling the culture-clashing story of crack-shot outlaw Dum and his unattainable, upper-crust lover Rumpoey. Sasanatieng’s film essentially navigates the same tightrope between intentionally bad and genuinely bad as a Hollywood blockbuster like Spider-Man 3, albeit with more charm and less second-hand embarrassment. For all its colorful deconstructionist whimsy, there is a stale air about Tears of the Black Tiger; it’s easier to want to like it than to like it.