Written and Directed by Dayyan Eng.
Starring Kevin Spacey, Daniel Wu and Beibi Gong.
A young man is seemingly at his lowest ebb; following his wife’s miscarriage and unrelenting pressure at work Li has decided he’s had enough and is about to hang himself. That is until a neighbour named Chuck knocks on Li’s door and begins the journey that may re-establish Li’s hope in there being some way to improve his failing life.
By deciding not to concentrate the efforts of this film into one area, such as drama or comedy, Eng makes a bold move, and in my opinion a successful one. There are comedic moments, such as the duo acting as vigilantes, and occasional smatterings of dark shadows of the film’s more sombre situations.
Daniel Wu’s excellent ability at displaying the emotional extremes his character Li goes through beats a great rhythm which is well peppered by Kevin Spacey’s expected quips and smirks as the mysterious neighbour Chuck. Beibi Gong as Li’s wife, Pang, is good and played off Wu’s talents well, although her character didn’t have the scope to progress as Spacey’s and Wu’s did.
There are twists, and some people may guess what they are and what the repercussions of certain actions may be. This is not a bad thing though; as I said there was enough variation in theme during the film, which runs at a good pace, to allow any guessing I made to become a secondary thought and not the “be all and end all” of my enjoyment.
The production of the film is okay, with some good music, and the cinematography by Thierry Arbogast.
The mistake here after watching would be to compare it to films that share themes but concentrate their efforts on single genres.
Daniel Wu is very good and Spacey certainly isn’t in it just to generate interest in the film and together they are an attractive duo. It is definitely worth a watch.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
J-P Wooding – Follow me on Twitter.