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Exiled Review


Very Good
For a moment near the beginning of Johnny To's Exiled, a piece of furniture floats in open air between two assassins, each shooting the piece in a maelstrom of a gunfight. The camera, sturdy and entranced in patented Hong Kong slow-motion, picks up every particle from every gun-blast and every molecule of dust and dirt that is kicked up in the small apartment. There are only four actual gunmen but between the sprays of flying shrapnel, you'd believe there were entire battalions having it out in the dinky apartment.

A stylized battle of this nature should come expected in the pantheon of Johnny To films. The fact that minutes later all four assassins are helping to rebuild and refurnish the apartment may not be expected. As it turns out, the four hitmen, and the target in question, are all old friends. Two of the hitmen have been called to take out the target while two have taken it upon themselves to protect the target. Blaze (Anthony Wong), the alpha-male of the group, lays down his guns but promises the target, his friend Wo (Nick Cheung), that he will have to kill him eventually.

Continue reading: Exiled Review

City On Fire Review


Good
Quentin Tarantino gives a big shout-out to City of Fire with Reservoir Dogs, a reinterpretation/extension/Americanization of the last 15 minutes of the film. And while City of Fire has a killer ending indeed, the guts of the film are so-so at best.

Chow Yun-Fat stars as an undercover cop who infiltrates a jewelry crime ring but develops a friendship with one of the criminals while arousing genuine suspicion in the police force. This is a lot clearer in retrospect than while watching the film -- the whole affair being confusing and poorly explained.

Continue reading: City On Fire Review

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