Trashterpiece Theater: New To Blu: China Salesman (2018) - Reviewed

China Salesman AKA Deadly Contract is the cinematic equivalent of a chimera, a mishmash of different genres and sensibilities all smashed together into a hideous monster begging for its death to end its suffering. It is simultaneously the worst and most entertaining film to cross my path in a long time and the fact that people paid money for it to exist blows my mind into the stratosphere.

This flick is a Chinese production directed by Tan Bing and has a strange mixture of international stars gravitating around an absolutely incomprehensible story about a Chinese engineer who finds himself embroiled in an international conspiracy while installing cell phone towers in Africa. Half of the film is subtitled and the other half everyone is speaking to each other in broken English, which makes it sound like the dialogue was provided by Google Translate. 

This gun is bigger than my other guns.

I cannot stress enough how ridiculous the story is--things happen for absolutely no reason and plot lines are picked up and dropped randomly like a toddler playing with toys. One minute they are installing cell phone towers, the next minute they are stopping an attempted female genital mutilation, then for some reason they are having an international computer meeting, and now that meeting is interrupted by tanks blasting their way into the building. At no point does any of this connect together in any meaningful way. It's nuts.

Most people will be attracted to the fact that both Mike Tyson and Steven Seagal have starring roles and that they fight each other. While they do indeed participate in fisticuffs (said fisticuffs started because a character tries to get Tyson's character to drink a beer mug full of urine) it's extremely apparent that Tyson and Seagal are never actually on set at the same time. Through clever use of editing, stunt doubles, and CGI faces the movie makes it appear as if they are fighting. It's downright bizarre to witness. It's hilarious to see Seagal's lazy ass drunk-fu matched up with Tyson's fighting style that is suspiciously close to his character in the old NES game Mike Tyson's Punchout. Both of these guys have top billing and are featured predominately on the posters for the film, but they aren't in the movie very much. I suspect this was done to secure international distribution as the HK posters for the film feature the Chinese actors in the forefront. 

What are you looking at? This weird movie or my face? I can't tell. 

Oddly enough, this movie has fantastic production value outside of the writing and acting as the set pieces are epic and the action is frequent and well shot for the most part. It's a high budget B movie with aspirations to be a Michael Bay style action-piece, but without any of the panache that his productions have.

All this being said, this movie, while technically incompetent on almost every level, is an absolute blast to watch. It's never boring and there is always some batshit crazy stuff going on every second. In about twenty years this is gonna be a B movie classic along the lines of Samurai Cop (1991) or Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987). Get a 24 pack of Natty Light and buckle up--you're in for a bumpy ride! 

--Michelle Kisner