I saw the edge of the box in a shop, noticed the title, hoped it was the Coen Brothers' film and pulled it out to have a look. 'Ah, no, it's a remake by Zhang Yimou. Well, it will look pretty and the plot is good, so...'
I was spot on: it does look pretty, the plot is almost the same as the original, and the result is indeed so-so.
Taking those in order, the land- and skyscapes are beautifully shot, and the costumes look nice even if they're apparently anachronistic. Large chunks are filmed 'day for night', and even in the dark, it looks good.
Where the plot goes wrong is having it set in and around one set of buildings, a noodle bar, somewhere in the middle of a desert with no visible customers apart from the police and one passing trader. (And the police probably didn't pay.) The original was filmed on a low budget, but still filled its bar with customers as well as providing other places for the protagonists to go. Here, with everyone except the corrupt detective living so close, you start to wonder why some of them are so deaf. Setting it in the past means that one twist is unavailable, so a not nearly as good reason for someone's actions is needed at one point.
The other issue is that when lifting the plot, they forgot about the strengths of the dialogue and the characterisations. In the original, only one secondary character is in any way 'good', but here it's been sweetened and sugared with comedy.
I'd recommend seeing it after the original, because it is an interesting adaptation, but you don't want to spoil the surprises in store when you see the real thing.