Foreign remake ‘A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop’ falls short of American original
Wed, Sep 29, 2010 (6:58 p.m.)
We’re used to seeing American remakes of foreign films, but foreign versions of American movies are much less common, so Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, based on the Coen brothers’ 1984 noir thriller Blood Simple, carries a certain extra weight. Zhang piles on his signature visual poetry, but he seems unsure of how to handle the relatively small-scale story, which is still about the wife of a business owner who has an affair with one of his employees. The director also spends more time on a pair of goofy comic-relief side characters who have no analogue in the original, and the tone of the film shifts so wildly from zany slapstick to grim violence that it seems at odds with itself. Like a lot of foreign movies misinterpreted by American filmmakers, Blood Simple got it right the first time, and there’s nothing to be gained by messing with it.