At a glance:
Nonchalant swordsman Ouyang Feng (Leslie Cheung, pic) lives the life of a desert vagabond, earnin his livelihood by subcontractin to others assassination gigs. Pitiless and cynical, his heart has long been wounded by a love he neglected then lost. But as the seasons come and go, so do friends and enemies alike, so he begins to reflect upon the origin of his solitude.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Edited from the 1994 release Ashes Of Time, Wong Kar Wai's 2008 redo can only attest to his ongoin legacy as the most celebrated HK director of these times and also the least understood as well. Whatever differences there are between the two versions that you can read about at length online, it remains that the story is essentially and annoyingly the same - a moody reflection of a hardened hitman who lives in the desert. It's talky, it's academic and it makes great viewin for art house aficionados who worship Wong for his colour palette choice.
If Leslie Cheung can live 300 years.
Reminds me of:
Sex in a very hot place.
Watch out for:
All-star cast of top actors - Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung (pic), Carina Lau, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Charlie Young, Jacky Cheung and the departed Leslie Cheung. They go about ridin horses, wieldin swords and drinkin Chinese wine in a confusin wuxia story with wonderful music to comfort you.
Most memorable line:
"Do you know the difference between drinkin wine and drinkin water? The more wine you drink, the warmer you'll get. Water will only make you feel cold."
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Best watched alone, Ashes Of Time redux or not, is a detached metaphorical piece without the arrogance of directorial indulgence but still suffers from the lack of mass appeal even among fans of Wong Kar Wai titles. If the catastrophic 1994 HK box office for this movie is anythin to go by, this revisionist project is best buried among the lesser of Wong's works. The movie thankfully does finish strong and leaves you with a very convalescent aftertaste.★★