To's obsessions on crime, the living city, malleable morality and double/triple crosses are still here. Thankfully, they all take a back seat to a light, classy, and perhaps even fanciful, tone, thanks to simple yet gorgeous cinematography and a brilliant soundtrack. The result is refreshing.
1.5 A rather horrible viewing experience. The soundtrack grates and the story was ridiculous. It's hard to find anything good to say about this - perhaps a few shots looked ok - it comes off like a bad fusion dish with old Hollywood mixed with the worst of Tarantino flavour with extra cheese on top. I won't bother to explain the silliness with the protagonist's photography but that irked me as well.
I find that Johnnie To's lack of narrative clarity and focus gets right on my tits, to be completely honest. The opening scene is utterly terrible and it barely picked up from there. Still, it's refreshing to know that bumping into people clumsily is still regarded as the chosen method for a supposed pickpocketing professional to get the best results.
What a delightful piece of filmmaking! I only knew To from his Election movies (which I adore) and didn't realize how charming and funny he could be! The somewhat contrived plot notwithstanding, this is a beautifully shot film and a competently told caper. The climactic scene in the rain in breathtaking and I stopped counting the number of iconic Hollywood shots To references here. Highly recommended!
Johnnie To's love letter to Hong Kong's airy verticality has a lightness of touch the match of the pickpockets that form the core of the story. This is a film saturated with the seductive allure of consumer items and brand names (from the Marlboro cigarette to the Cartier watch), and To plays out sequences not so much for dramatic expediency as for the inherent eroticism of the game played. Unlike any other film.
I found the story uninteresting and implausible. The characters are underdeveloped and really what the fuck is up with that girl and this rich man? That comes out of nowhere. The whole premise is laughable. I'll agree that the soundtrack is great and the film is aptly directed, but the rest is a mess.
Beautiful work. So much hope in these settings and wellbeing, even if only for some privileged ones and the main parts are thieves. To develop the characters as voyeurs, flaneurs, playboys and choreographing entire parts of the movie is an esthetic pleasure. At the second view it lacks concision and some scenes are too long, the time being extended without a point in the story. Sweet and sour ending, freedom as h.end
Was Männer nicht alles tun, um Frauen in Not zu helfen. Dem Witz und Charme dieser schönen Frau können vier Ganoven einfach nicht widerstehen. Dafür müssen sie einiges einstecken. Und doch ertappte ich mich, dass ich in einigen Szenen gerne mit ihnen getauscht hätte. Männer sind eben manchmal doch ein bisschen blöd.