Saturday, November 14, 2009

Time and Tide


Shun liu Ni liu; Action drama, China, 2000; D: Tsui Hark, S: Nicholas Tse, Wu Bai, Anthony Wong, Candy Lo, Cathy Tsui

In the dark Hong Kong, there lives a 20-year old lad Tyler, who works as a bodyguard, and who impregnated his friend Ah Jo and thus sends her money. Tyler's boss is Mr. K. During a party, the bodyguards stop an assassin, but he escapes. Tyler makes friends with Jack (35), a former mercenary who lives peacefully with Hui who is also pregnant. But Jack is hunted by his colleagues, South American criminals, who are looking for a case full of cash that was hidden by Hui. After Tyler's apartment gets blown away, he, Jack and Hui battle the criminals until a concert where there is a final showdown. The criminals die, Hui gives birth and leaves with Jack, Tyler returns to his friend.

Legendary Hong Kong director Tsui Hark, after mediocre American projects, returned to his old glory with this ambitious action film of a complicated plot. "Time and Tide" are so developed and well planned that there's a new digression almost every 10 minutes: visually and stylishly good, yet too cold and "clinic" whereas the action starts only some 50 minutes into the film. The "dark" cinematography and Asian "look" also give the film a slight exotic touch. The protagonists are leading the plot tightly, but are overshadowed by the actress Candy Lo who smiles in one scene - there's action here from "Matrix" style to microscopic shots, but they never reach that magic as she does with one simple gesture.

Grade:++

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