A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop is a remake of the Coen Brothers great neo-noir Blood Simple, set in feudal China. I love Blood Simple. Woman Gun Noodle Shop is a pretty faithful remake, but is a far less successful film, at least to this Western viewer. Both films tell the story of venal and carnal people committing selfish and deadly acts; in both films, the darkness of the story is leavened by humor. However, Blood Simple works because of the Coen Brothers subversively dry, ironic humor. The humor in Woman Gun Noodle Shop is very broad; a Chinese friend tells me that this “is very Chinese” and reflects traditions of other Chinese performance mediums. Anyway, the humor was too broad for me.
One thing that DOES work: the beautifully severe landscape of northwest China is another character in the film.