Unlike each of Jiang Wen's previous films, this is not about burrowing deep into the atmosphere of a period in recent Chinese history. Although set in Republican era China, the backdrop is only nominal, and often highly artificial - Goose Town, for example, never convinces as a village in 1920s China. Instead, Jiang lifts the form of a Tarantino-esque action epic to explore the nature of conflict in Chinese culture. The film is an elite power play between an ersatz governor and a local landlord: each tries to undermine the other, though never openly, through various ploys and political theatre. Let the Bullets Fly seems to hold a mirror to Chinese politics, suggesting that each person in power is as crooked as the next, and as indifferent to the plight of ordinary people. The dialogue is witty with a strong absurdist streak, albeit steeped in culturally-specific allusion and expression, making it practically untranslatable into English.