Wong Kar-wai directs Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung and Jacky Cheung in this Hong Kong gangster romance where a low level triad is torn between his lovely cousin and his reckless friend.
Like early Tarantino, here is a debut that embraces the well chosen homage, improving and personalising the great threads from other movies into a pleasing megamix. Neophyte Wong Kar-wai shamelessly wears his influences on his sleeve. Riffing directly off of Mean Streets, Stranger Than Paradise and, in the finest but least least cohesive interlude, Top Gun – you can’t resist and are seduced. It helps that Andy Lau and Maggie Cheung absolutely sizzle when on screen together. Goes on a bit too long in the final wrap up – otherwise this would be an actual superior take on the plot of the Scorsese classic it steals wholesale from. Loved seeing this in all it step printing, neon lit glory on the big screen… the experience unearthed memories. It felt too familiar. I must have watched this late night on Channel 4 back in the day, with no idea what it was.
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