Thursday, August 26, 2010

2005 - A BITTERSWEET LIFE, is a philosophical revenge fantasy

Another one of these violent Asian action films where everyone gets blasted with lots of bullets or repeatedly bashed in the head over and over and over and over and over and over.

A Bittersweet Life is very well made, the action scenes are at a high caliber, the acting is good and the story is pretty interesting.  For reasons I can't exactly understand these types of films always seem to have scenes where the protagonist gets all philosophical about the meaning of life and his  place and relationship to it in the world.  I call this The Guns of Navarone syndrome.

The Guns of Navarone was a large scale World War II action adventure where every so often Gregory Peck and David Niven would stop to debate the relative merits of the war they were fighting.   I believe the purpose of these scenes were to make the film seem more important than what it actually was, just another World War II movie. 

A Bittersweet Life has The Guns of Navarone syndrome in spades, there is lots of time to reflect on the meaning of life before somebody gets a burning stick shoved into his eye, or shot in the chest or has his head rammed through a car window, etc.

The film is not without a sense of humor, there is a long scene with a gun dealer that is very funny. Our so called hero and the gun dealer race to put together the guns they have taken apart so they can shoot each other, funny stuff.

Still, you get what you pay for with this film lots of over the top violence that for some reason Asian cinema is really good at pulling off.

120 minutes.

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