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里程 (2000)
Miles Apart

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 08/16/2003
Summary: Over doing it!!

This movie is actually quite interesting. Micheal Wong is framed for a crime he did not commit and his world is turned upside down. No one can prove his innocence which may mean a long time in jail...........but the plot twist really gets you by suprise, maybe because it is a little too unbelieveable.

Micheal Wong tries to act, but he struggles to show the appropriate emotions when needed. The supporting cast do well in their roles but i always like Simon Lui as a tough cop. I think he plays those roles very well.

Better than the BLOOD RULES which came out almost the same time. Worth viewing though if you get caught up with the plot twist (it being a bit too unbelieveable) you may no like thsi film


Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 11/23/2000

Making the leap from actor to director is no easy matter, and embracing the additional roles of producer and writer makes the endeavor all the more Herculean. With Miles Apart, Michael Wong Man-tak takes on these multiple tasks as well as serving as star. The results display some of the advantages and many of the disadvantages of a freshman effort.

On the plus side is the movie’s verve and sincerity. Miles Apart is infused with a sense of enthusiasm. Wong obviously identifies closely with the character he created and portrays, senior police officer Miles Ma. Ma’s passion for his job, as well as his trials and tribulations in trying to achieve his goals, doubtlessly reflect those of the director.

But perhaps because bringing one’s first movie to the screen is such an arduous task, Wong often seems too close to his material to make objective judgements. At approximately 100 minutes, the movie is overlength, with some expository material restated two or three times.

The story’s more distinctive aspects get overshadowed by such crime cliches as the stereotyped ultra-cool gangster (Jimmy Wong Ka-lok in a typical role). One would have liked to see a more natural development of such off-beat aspects as Miles’ passion for flying. It is mentioned early in the story, and then used in a rather obvious, tacked-on manner at the end.

Another aspect that had the potential for more psychological depth is Miles’ tortured memories of his late wife. These are treated in a facile manner and ultimately prove emotionally unsatisfying. Similarly, one wishes there were more depth in the relationship between Miles and the new lady in his life, Janis Chan (Cecelia Yip Tung). She is no lightweight, a high ranking ICAC official whose investigation includes Miles himself. But the interaction between Janis and Miles never grabs and involves the viewer as much as it could or should.

Wong brings an unusual perspective to Hong Kong films. One of the most handsome actors to ever grace the Cantonese screen, Wong has come to the stage in his career where he wants to show he is more than a hunk. Born and raised in the United States, a “typical” American guy more comfortable speaking English than Chinese, the bulk of his fifteen-year acting life has been spent in Hong Kong. Future projects would benefit from drawing more on his unique history so to create films with as distinctive a personality as his own.

This review is copyright (c) 2000 by Paul Fonoroff. All rights reserved. No part of the review may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 10/17/2000
Summary: Michael should stick to acting. No, wait...

It's not easy to make a good police movie. The genre is pretty tired, and it's hard to come up with anything new. Still, there are plenty of approaches that have yielded good results; adding humanizing elements that are as important or more important than the crime story, (Bullets Over Summer, Task Force) unusual concepts, (Double Tap, The Victim) character depth, (Expect the Unexpected, Full Alert) or simply providing fast-paced, hard-hitting action. (Big Bullet, Crime Story.)
There are many more examples, and the best of them manage to cram most or all of these elements into a nice, compact package. Miles Apart, on the other hand, uses none of these approaches; its existence is totally unjustified other than as a testament to the fact that Michael Wong doesn't have a clue.

Things begin inauspiciously with the tired "panning shots of Hong Kong" credits, and don't improve; character development is handled in the most perfunctory and trite ways; panning shots survey Michael's pictures of his dead wife. He spends about 1:30 worshipping her, as if that adds any depth to his character. Interaction with potential girlfriend Cecilia Yip
is painful; at one point, she actually tells him "I don't know what to believe." The irritation factor was significantly boosted, at least for me, by the main character's name: Miles Ma. Now somebody named "John" might be used to hearing their name all the time, but it was pretty annoying to hear my name used so many times in such a bad movie.

The main focus, the crime story, provides zero thrills or interest. The villains have no personality, and their crimes don't create any concern on the viewer's part. The investigative process is handled pathetically, through wordless montages of cops "hitting the streets," simply because Mike can't find a logical way to piece things together through dialogue and real investigative techniques. The only surprise in the plot is more confusing than anything, and the main conflict, when Michael is framed, is basically resolved via deus ex machina. The movie's single action scene would be fair enough in a character-oriented movie, but as the finale of a no-brainer, it's pathetic. As expected, the English dialogue is blandly written and usually poorly delivered, and judging from the large amount I could understand, the Cantonese dialogue isn't that much better. Basically, while I've seen more irritating or ineptly-made movies, it's painfully obvious that not a single real idea went into this movie. The real mystery in this film is why Michael saw fit to debut as a director with a film with no real assets.