Absurd Accident [Tízhe xīn diàozhe dǎn]

Released: 2016. Viewed: March 2018

Another Cock and Bull story. Following on from that film and Free and Easy, the poorly titled Absurd Accident is yet another Chinese take on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Yang Baiwan (Chen Xixu) is the owner of a run-down inn and restaurant in the middle of nowhere who suspects that his wife (Gao Ye) is having an affair. As you would, he asks the local ‘health’ expert Bi (Cao Rui) to find a hitman to kill her. Meanwhile, two mismatched villians are wandering about and various other characters get involved in a predictably implausible series of events.

The director (Li Yuhe) in his first feature weaves all the various strands together with the usual time shifts (and chapter titles) so that we finally get to understand (more or less) what has been going on.

Like Cock and Bull this is a passable entertainment but the director spends so much time on the story-shifts that any effort at characterisation is entirely lost and personally I was entirely indifferent to the fate on the various characters.

My know ledge of rural China is not sufficiently good to know if any of this rings true but one strongly suspects that it is not meant to and that Absurd Accident is intended as an accurate depiction of rural life to the same extent that Lock, Stock is intended as a documentary on life in South London.



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