The Butcher, The Chef, And The Swordsman
Director: Wuershan
Stars: Masanobu Ando, You Benchang, Liu Xiaoye
Rating: ***

This almost indescribably bizarre Chinese martial arts slapstick comedy with musical and animated interludes defies categorization. First-time director Wuershan weaves flashbacks within flashbacks within flashbacks to tell the story of a collection of grotesque characters and their misadventures with a near mythical blade. There’s no real genre that can fully contain the myriad influences the director piles into this potent cinematic cocktail, so it’s best just described as candy-coloured entertainment. As with any movie that throws every conceivable idea at the screen, some sequences work better than others. Fortunately, Wuershan succeeds more than he fails and the film should be enjoyed by fans of wacko Asian cinema.

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