In China they Eat Dogs

In China they Eat Dogs

1999 | Lasse Spang Olsen

Two brothers, one cold and ruthless, the other sensitive and reluctant, and their brutal misadventures.

Average rating   8 out of 10

(8.49) Takers | (5.98) Marauders | (4.94) The Last Heist | (4.43) Heat | (4.21) American Heist

Niels Risgaard Hansen     2013-12-27 8 out of 10

Danish action, crime, comedy when it is best.

I remember watching this  several times when it came out on VHS. Later I bought it on DVD and every now and then I pop it in the player and it is still a good movie.

The overall plot is quite good. It has some unforeseen twists that makes it seem very much like an everyday life (well maybe except from the part with bank robbery, murder, giant explosions etc.). The story being told at the bar just adds another layer to the cake and makes it even more entertaining.

I have seen Kim Bodnia in a few movies before this one, but his performance here made me a major fan and I remember how it made me want to go back to the older movies (Bleeder, Nights Watch, Pusher etc.) just to review his performance again. His body language, his facial expressions and his tone of voice are all brilliantly adapted to his character. Watching the movie again just confirms this, as you get more and more details the more you look.
Dejan Cukic’s performance is somewhat mediocre. I think he overdoing some of the characteristics and at certain points it makes his characters seem retarded. In my opinion his performance would have been better suited of a theatrical performance.
The two chefs played by Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Tomas Villum Jensen are entertaining and fairly well done.

It is clear to see that the director Lasse Spang Olsen is a well know stunt coordinator as the stunts are quite formidable. The explosions are overdone - cars and people flying through the air and everything catching fire as a result of a minor car crash.
The gun fights are quite impressive. I really like how the (Turkish?) gangster troops move like some tactical squad.

The visual special effects at the end of the movie are rather poor unfortunately.

The dialogue - especially for the conversations between the two brothers -  are very well written. There are several great moments where Harald tries to explain Arvid about his philosophy of life. That is just brilliant. There is also several great one-liners where my favorite might be “You realise that you just shot a whole rock band? I always wanted to do that”. (The rock band being Red Warszawa - a band that I have seen live about 10 times).

The movie is almost entirely in Danish (there is some English and some Turkish), so you will need subtitles if you do not speak Danish. It also quite heavily use of the Danish black sarcastic humor, so if you are foreign to Danish culture, I would recommend you to watch it with a Dane to make sure you get the most out of it.

One of my favorite movies and definitely one to watch.

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