Guan Hu completely charmed NYAFF audiences back in 2010 with his bovine World War II epic, Cow, and now he’s back to totally kick our asses. The weapon of our butt destruction is China’s blockbuster director (and occasional actor) Feng Xiaogang, here playing the titular Mr. Six, a reformed gangster entering middle age and running a neighborhood shop. When some young punks kidnap his son for scratching their Lamborghini, Mr. Six doesn’t buckle in the face of their cartoonish fronting. They’re just spoiled children pretending to be hard men; Mr. Six is a hard man. He tools up, gets his old gang back together, and sets out on the road to revenge. Then things take a turn, because Mr. Six isn’t an action movie but a raw and rocky story of a man grown old in a world that no longer has any room for him. This is not just a film about a man who wields a sword (although it’s about that, too), it’s about respect: who earns it, who commands it, and who loses it. And it constantly twists our expectations as we’re shown what happens to the original gangsters like Mr. Six, who actually stand for something.
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