The Longest Nite (1998)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2001-07-30
Summary: Style over substance
I had been wondering what all the fuss was about. Having just watched the film, I am still wondering.

First, the good news. The cinematography is terrific. The visuals and look of the film nicely match the psychological warfare and smouldering stares which the two leads share so many of.

But, despite being a big fan of Lau Ching Wan, I just couldn't get into this movie. Nothing in the story or performances give one any reason to feel anything for or about the characters. The story is a bit hard to follow, and I suspect there's rather a lot of confusion there anyway.

What little of the story made sense was pretty strange. And the microscopic subtitles didn't help. I saw an LD print which was clearly a direct tran from the cinema print. And, worse, the dialogue was in Mandarin.

A correction to a comment in an eariler review. The repeated tune was "Chase", a hit single for Giogio Moroder in 1978/9, and it was the theme from Midnight Express, not Scarface.

A quote : "The body is absolutely woundless, only the head is missing".

Several tunes were repeated many times, Chase among them. Director Patrick Yau might have been trying to out-do Wong Ka Wai here. At least Yau has better taste in the tunes he picks to hyper-repeat.

In short, this film is terrific visually, but a big letdown in almost every other respect. If you're a mad keen fan of both Lau and Tony Leung, you'll probably love it. But be prepared for disappoinment.
Reviewer Score: 3