Hong Kong 'film noir'! Romancing Bullet [2000]
Director: Sam Ho
Producer: Lau Jun Fai
Action Director: Fok Wing Fu
Cast: Max Mok, Joey Man, Danny Lee
Opened in Hong Kong October 12, 2000

This is yet another movie from Sam Ho [called Samuel Ho in this films credits], who had six releases in cinema's during 2000. Romancing Bullet stars Max Mok who has appeared in numerous HK productions. His character, named AK, wears sunglasses throughout and he is barely recognizable in this role.

Director Ho seems to be only interested in the stylistic issues of filmmaking. He makes a major error in style that has created a major drawback for this viewer. A major scene in Romancing Bullet involves a 'computer chat' between Mok and Joey Man as their characters try to hook up. The scene consists of close-ups of the actors and the computer screens that show the Chinese text without subtitles. The scene is meant to give insight into the characters but any pertinent information in lost on non-Chinese readers.

Visually, Romancing Bullet is very interesting. Cinematography gets high marks. Mok turns a nice tribute to Chow Yun Fat in his assassin stylings while the director pays homage to John Woo. Plot and storyline can't keep up, as both are just rehashes of many similar films. Performances by Mok and Man are adequate, but the supporting cast turns in laughable performances. Romancing Bullet features lots of gunplay and bloodshed, none of it very heroic.

For a different example of Sam Ho's work as a director, check out Conspiracy [2000].

copyright 2001 J. Crawford

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