Ashes of Time (1994)
Reviewed by: Trigger on 2001-11-20
Summary: Not for everyone
The Film - 6.5/10

It was very difficult to follow... It was a collection of stories that were very loosley tied together. It reminded me of Dragon Inn a little with different characters all ending up in one place, but it's very much different (except for Brigitte Lin's part). It's more of an artsy film (well Wong Kar Wai - what do you expect?) though and so if you're hoping for some conventional standards of HK cinema, you won't find many here. I did like the story for the most part - I will have to watch it a few more times perhaps so I can follow what characters are doing what and to whom. I was tired when I watched it so that might have something to do with it.

The DVD - 4/10

Mei Ah - burned in subs and 1.85:1 letterbox with the sides cut a little. The transfer is fairly clean for an earlier Mei Ah release though. No menu or extras or chapter stops.

The Action - 4/10

A few good dismemberments and some decent flashes of action, but all the action is handled the "artsy" way with choppy editing and ugly camera effects that just make the action really hard to follow - you almost have to wait until the motion sickness is over to see who won.

The Actors - 9.5/10

The acting was all superb though and it was a pleasure to watch all these fine A-list actors and actresses together on screen giving some of their best performances ever. I mean - we're talking Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung, Brigitte Lin, Jacky Cheung, Leung Ka Fai and Leslie Cheung. What more could you ask for?

Overall - 7/10

I think this film as a whole is better than if you dissect it. It works on a few levels and is different than most other HK films. If you're into Wong Kar Wai then you've probably seen it and if not then it should be on your list. If you're not really into artsy films and just like good action, then probably skip it.
Reviewer Score: 7