As Tears Go By ★★★

Wong Kar-wai Ranked (WIP)

The recipe here is for some John Woo-inflected homage to Mean Streets. Unfortunately, the ingredients used to cook it up are for something different entirely: Wong Kar-wai. Ultimately, the dish, whatever the intention may be, ends up being a collection of raw ingredients left sitting on the cutting board, as if the chef and his customers could not come to an agreement on what exactly they should be making / consuming.

I can't help but be perplexed by this film. Like any good dish, it has strong ingredients. Onion, carrot, butter, steak. But, only some of those can be eaten raw. The fight scenes are like a hardy carrot dipped in ranch dressing: delicious. But, the plot, pacing and melodrama are like taking a bite out of an onion like one does an apple: uh, unadvisable. The worst thing is it seems to be genuinely made, and it is, overall, an enjoyable first feature from one of the greatest filmmakers ever. I just wish that recipe for success weren't so elusive. Just like the cup Ah Ngor hid from Wah, so too does the recipe hide from us, leaving us hungry for something a bit better put together.

Now that I've beaten to death my cooking metaphor, how do YOU feel about Wong's most uncharacteristic film? Is it worthy? Am I being too harsh? Leave your thoughts in the comments below ;)

Alexander liked these reviews