Time and Tide ★★★½

Feels less like a Tsui Hark film than an adaptation of Wong Kar-wai devices into the Milkyway Image world. Of course, that had already been done with the Patrick Yau-Wai Ka-fai and probably Johnnie To too 1997 film The Odd Ones Dies, in which a Wongian hopeless romance bursts out of an ultra-violent gangster picture, seemingly against its will. Time and Tide starts Wong-style, with a narrator (Nicholas Tse's character but apparently spoken by Tsui himself) rambling over quick cut shots of Hong Kong night life. Much of this artifice is dropped as the plot proper gets started, a slick tale of a young bodyguard who gets caught up in a war between an ex-assassin and his old gang. The two men (Tse as the younger and rock star Wu Bai as the older) both are trying to support pregnant women: Wu his wife and Tse the lesbian cop he knocked up one drunken night. Anthony Wong is around being fairly cool as Tse's boss, but apparently much of his stuff was cut out. And also Hou Hsiao-hsien regular Jack Kao appears at the end as a cop.

I don't know how well it all hangs together, but it's got some first rate gun fights (check the nod to John Woo early in the film, as two men face off, guns to each others heads). Like with Tsui's 2005 film Seven Swords, I'd like to see the longer cut (this originally clocked in at over three hours, but Tsui felt it dragged, so says Kung Fu Magazine).

Sean liked these reviews