Blu-ray Review: “Eastern Bandits” Should Have Stayed Out East

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Review by James McDonald

“Eastern Bandits” is the heroic story of rebels with a fortune to gain, and everything to lose.

I’ve reviewed a lot of Asian and Chinese movies that were top-notch: great stories, terrific performances, unbelievable action, but every now and again, one comes along that is boring, monotonous and mundane. “Eastern Bandits” is that movie. It tries to tell the story of a gang of misfits who are thieves, murderers and kidnappers. They are all very loyal to the gang’s leader, Pang because he has saved their lives on more than one occasion.

They have an underground lair that is undetectable to anybody they don’t want knowing about them, they wear baby-faced masks when robbing banks which scares everyone else and with the money they steal, they give to the poor but also keep a lot for themselves. I liked what the movie promised, a combination of the wild west along with elements of comedy, comradeship and war movies. Unfortunately, it does not deliver. It is slow and uninspiring and the characters are uninvolved.

Visually, the film looks good, with nice cinematography from Yu Cao but that’s about the only redeeming feature I could attain. In the end, in order for the movie to work, the story has to flow and the characters have to be people we care about but because neither of these pertain to the movie at hand, it’s virtually impossible to give a damn about any one or anything herein. Some genres shouldn’t be blended and “Eastern Bandits” is a prime example of that.

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James McDonald
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