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Running Out of Time
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Andy Lau and Lau Ching-Wan on a banner from Running Out of Time
Chinese: 暗戰  
Year: 1999  
Director: Johnnie To Kei-Fung  
Writer: Yau Nai-Hoi, Laurent Coutiaud, Julien Carbon
Cast: Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Lau Ching-Wan, Yoyo Mung Ka-Wai, Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling, Hui Siu-Hung, Waise Lee Chi-Hung, Lam Suet
The Skinny: Enormously satisfying genre experience starring two A-level Hong Kong stars, Andy Lau and Lau Ching-Wan. Johnnie To makes one for the masses with this richly entertaining thriller.
by Kozo:

The latest Milkyway film dips just a bit more into convention, but the result is predictably pure gold. Lau Ching-Wan is Inspector Ho, a police negotiator whoís led into a game of cat-and-mouse by ace thief Cheung (Andy Lau). Cheung robs a Hong Kong high-rise, but his motive is in doubt. Did he do it for money? Or fame? And why is he letting Ho in on all of it?

Ho begins his investigation, and as he discovers what Cheung is up to, so does the audience. Not to give too much away, but Cheung is actually dying of cancer, and is using his final days to avenge his father. It isnít what heís doing thatís interesting here, itís how heís doing it. The set up for his ultimate scam is a joy to watch, and Andy Lau relishes his role. Itís probably his best acting in quite a while as he restrains himself from doing one of his two Andy Lau things: either overacting the charm or overdoing the bitterness. Credit director To with reining in his Sky King star.

There are some truly delicious genre moments in Milkywayís latest sublime effort. The little bits with bumbling police captain Hui Siu-Hung are a little overdone and there are some major plot holes, but itís really hard to fault this richly entertaining action thriller. This is probably the best commercial film Hong Kong has produced in quite a while. It tends towards pleasing the masses with its built in star-power and sometimes cheesy dialogue, but the total package (style, pacing, acting, direction) all add up to a rich and satisfying genre experience. (Kozo 1999)


19th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Winner - Best Actor (Andy Lau Tak-Wah)
• Nomination - Best Picture
• Nomination - Best Director (Johnnie To Kei-Fung)
• Nomination - Best Supporting Actor (Hui Siu-Hung)
• Nomination - Best Screenplay (Yau Nai-Hoi, Laurent Coutiaud, Julien Carbon)
• Nomination - Best Editing (Chan Chi-Wai)
• Nomination - Best Sound Effects
6th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
• Recommended Film

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Kam & Ronson
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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image courtesy of Chinastar Entertainment Group Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen