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Chungking Express (Criterion) (1994)

Cast: Brigitte Lin, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, more...
Director: Wong Kar-Wai, Wong Kar-Wai
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Criterion
Genre: Classics, Comedies, Drama, Foreign, Romantic Comedy, Romance, Classic Romance, Hong Kong, China, Classic Comedy, Classic Drama, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 102 min.
Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

A Hong Kong fast food restaurant acts as the link between two unusual stories of police officers in love in this eccentric, stylish comedy-drama. Director Wong Kar-Wai plays freely with traditional narrative structure, dividing his film into two loosely connected segments. The first centers on a depressed cop struggling to come to terms with a recent break-up. His sad isolation is transformed when he encounters a beautiful, mysterious femme fatale, whose involvement with the criminal underworld proves troublesome for both. The second story explores the odd relationship between a female restaurant worker and another recently jilted police officer. The strange woman decides to regularly clean and redecorate the man's apartment in his absence, allowing the two to form a close intimacy without meeting face to face. Both stories present a beautifully atmospheric look at modern urban life and romance, with its combination of isolation and casual, unexpected meetings. Chungking Express came to the attention of American audiences thanks to the efforts of director Quentin Tarantino, whose own brand of fractured storytelling and urban cool owes a debt to Wong Kar-Wai. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
In the Mood for Love
If you're in the mood for another thoughtful Wong meditation on romance

Mystery Train
Jim Jarmusch's wry, multiple story comedy features an Elvis-loving Japanese couple

Ashes of Time
Wong's expressionistic actioner also starred Brigitte Lin

GreenCine Member Reviews

Has disconnected characters ever been so brilliant? by speakreflection October 4, 2006 - 2:19 PM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Two cops. A drug smuggler. A dreamer and California Dreamin.
Split into two stories that inter mingle ever slightly. The first follow Cop 223 on his quest to rekindle love with his ex or just figure out what is next in his life. With the buying of pineapple that expires on May 1st (His birthday). The journey from neurotic takes it just a bit past. Finally breaking through and running into The woman in the blonde whig (drug smuggler) who is on the run after a drug deal gone bad. They some how connect at a bar, with many drinks providing enough cover for both of them. Leading up to a morning jogging and a small run into Faye....The second part of the story follows Cop 663 and his obsessive former relationship with a flight attendant. Totally missing the love that Faye has for him until it's almost too late.
Brilliantly filmed in a vast city of blur.
A great film.

Unbearably boring by Sujata June 9, 2006 - 7:58 PM PDT
1 out of 5 members found this review helpful
I gave this movie a rating of 1 because 0 is not available. Unbearably boring. The movie is stylishly made, but style alone does not a good movie make. The acting is mostly clownish, there is nothing resembing a plot, and the less said about the score the better. If I hear "California Dreaming" one more time, I'm gonna smash my own TV. Stay away from this piece of crap.

Zzzzzzzzzzz.... by Chiend February 2, 2006 - 9:14 PM PST
4 out of 15 members found this review helpful
For those deciding whether or not to rent this movie and are reading these comments for insight, may I offer these two words: Shop elsewhere. "Chungking Express" was shoddily filmed, slapped together quickly and seems as though it were conceived in its entirety by someone standing in line at a Hong Kong Burger King. Boooooooring! I can't remember ever watching such an assortment of one-dimensional characters trying to work their way through a script this mundane! It's an absurd effort with philosophically ridiculous dialogue. A man wanders into his flooded apartment and offers the stunning revelation that "tears can be dried with a tissue, but water takes time to mop up". The same character is also seen carrying on a deep, meaningful rapport with his towels, soap, stuffed animals, dirty laundry, etc. The shaky, wandering, hand-held camera-work was another annoying feature I could have done without. And if all that isn't enough to make you puke in your popcorn, we hear the old 60's ode "California Dreaming" by the Mamas and Papas blaring on the soundtrack over and over again during a particularly lengthy sequence. Quentin Tarantino was responsible for bringing this loser to America through his Rolling Thunder Productions company, though I cannot for the life of me figure out why a man with his talent would bother. He was known to have remarked, "I'm happy to love a movie this much." A lot of us, though, hope he will concentrate on making his audiences happy with more worthy discoveries in the future.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.99)
570 Votes
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