Aesthetically, it's a marvel. The swooning neons, the elegant camerawork, the way it conveys mood and atmosphere, the hopped-up synth and Hong Kong pop soundtrack. It's not necessarily narratively fulfilling (and rather absurd at times), but chances are you're not watching this for plot. You're watching it for an aesthete's take on bullets-and-blood. I would be shocked if Refn hasn't seen this.
As always Patrick Tam twists genres into something unique, in between the genre experiments of Woo/Hark and the more consciously artistic films of Wong/Kwan. This time it's the heroic bloodshed genre that gets the Tam treatment. Christopher Doyle provides excellent cinematography, Tony Leung gives a great early performance, and Tam handles the material in a unique way. The last gunfight rivals anything that Woo did.
For fans of the 'heroic bloodshed' genre, this movie is something like the holy grail: hard to come by but with a ending shootout that is considered to rival John Woo. Not surprisingly, the film failed to meet those massive expectations for me but it's still a minor highlight of late 80's Hong Kong cinema, thanks largely to the dazzling cinematography by frequent Wong Kar-Wai collaborator Christopher Doyle.