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The Pig, the Snake and the Pigeon (2023)

The Pig, the Snake and the Pigeon (2023)

A dying criminal kills to be the most wanted in this Taiwanese Western-esque gangster drama

7.5

Movie

Taiwan
Cantonese, Mandarin
Action, Crime
2023
WONG CHING-PO
Ben Yuen Foo-Wah, Chen Yi-wen, Cheng Yu-Chieh
134 min

TLDR

Well, I suppose this is one way to approach your impending mortality…

What it's about

After discovering that he’s only the third most wanted fugitive in Taiwan, Chen Kui-lin embarks on a journey to kill the first two, to establish his legacy before he dies from lung cancer.

The take

Gangster films have an issue of glorifying organized crime, and in some ways The Pig, The Snake, and The Pigeon does the same. There are excellent, action-packed fight scenes that makes Ethan Juan as Chen Kui-lin look so damn cool, and the journey Chen takes as a stern criminal out for his legacy definitely romanticizes the character, but it’s so compelling to see him contemplate the purpose of his life through confronting those like him, who tend to move for the ideas of love and spiritual detachment. There are some moments when the pacing falters, but The Pig, The Snake, and the Pigeon delivers on its ending and reimagines the gangster as something to remember.

What stands out

Ethan Juan is really suited for this role– he’s able to capture the insanity that makes Chen Kui-lin’s quest, and the ironic redemption a true one.

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