A romance ? Well, sort of, but it's tangled up with several competing subplots.
Reviewer Score: 7
Writer/Director Jeff Lau has Chow playing bits of all of his great roles, creating a kind-of pastiche. The Killer, Hardboiled, The On Fire series, Better Tomorrow, and even Ah Long and some of his lighter roles. One minute he's shooting up bad guys in the US, then he's engaging an Abbot at the Shaolin monastery (Gordon Liu, who is hilarious) in a swearing match, then he has flowers growing out of his hair, then he's taking a romantic flight (without a plane) with Ng Sin Lin, then he's arguing with a chiselling taxi driver who is also a former Shaoliner, then he's shooting more bad guys ....... hell, he must have been confused.
Warning : trying to make sense of the utterly nonsensical plot could damage your mental health ! And for those who, like me, couldn't spot Michael Wong, he's Chow's associate near the beginning who reappears about 2/3 of the way through in mysterious circumstances.
Although I can't imagine any guy NOT falling for the incredibly sweet Sin Lin, I found it hard to accept the initial attraction between Chow and her, and the large amount of screen time they spend apart is disappointing. But, as the film progresses (or, rather, lurches), their few scene together are touching. I agree that the final scene looks like a tacked-on afterthought, but there's so little sense in the rest that it's just one more bit of "say what ?".
All in all, this film goes from guns-blazing action to quiet meditation to screwball comedy to light romance to loyalty testing to murderous action to ........ In fact, an entertaining and sometimes touching complete mess.
Put your brain into neutral and enjoy.