One Nite In Mongkok

One Nite In Mongkok


Reviewed by: Keith Hennessey Brown

In the run-up to Christmas, tensions between two rival triads have spilled over into bloodshed. A mainland assassin has been sent for and, should he succeed in his mission, a full-scale gang war is all but inevitable.

Evading the police - prominent amongst their number are the requisite hotheaded, ambitious youngster and world-weary old-timer - the assassin hides out in a rooms-by-the-quarter-hour hotel.

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There, he happens upon a prostitute from his home province, being slapped around by her pimp and intervenes. The hired killer is really just a good guy at heart. Anyone surprised?

Maybe this girl can help him locate his ex, who left the mainland for Hong Kong's bright lights a few months ago and hasn't been heard from since. And - again wouldn't you just know it? - the prostitute turns out to be a tart with a heart, happy to help him in his quest.

With this compendium of cliches, the best you can hope for would be an efficient and unpretentious actioner, all the more so when two leads, Daniel Wu and Cecilia Cheung, are better known for their looks than their acting.

While handling the action with aplomb - the violence is low-key but high-impact, short in duration but long in consequences in a manner more reminiscent of Infernal Affairs than The Killer - writer/director Tung-Shing Yee gives us much, much more.

Stock figures emerge as complex, living, breathing individuals, propelling a character-driven drama that bears equal comparison with Wong Kar Wai's Fallen Angels in tone and, in its own way, accomplishment.

Definitely worth seeing.

Reviewed on: 13 Aug 2005
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One Nite In Mongkok packshot
Triad tensions in Hong Kong bring a hired assassin from the mainland.
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Read more One Nite In Mongkok reviews:

Anton Bitel ****

Director: Tung-Shing Yee

Writer: Tung-Shing Yee

Starring: Daniel Wu, Cecilia Chung, Alex Fong, Anson Leung, Kar Lok Chin, Suet Lam, Sam Lee

Year: 2004

Runtime: 110 minutes

Country: Hong Kong


EIFF 2005

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