ONCE MORE (2004-HK)
review by Neo
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Romantic Running Out of Time!
Seriously, romantic comedies are formulaic, but somehow, whenever Johnny To touches it, it turns to gold, well sometimes silver, and occasionally crap. So how about a movie that combines romantic comedy with crime drama ... like a Needing You plus Running Out of Time combination. The question remains in all ya minds is that - does it even work? Well, there is certainty some unnecessary parts, but the movie is not at all boring and the energetic feel is surely in existence throughout and lasting all the way till the credits roll. As I have always seem to comment about Johnny To, his films are thinking films... meaning that it leaves you thinking after the credits roll, making the audience the feeling of solving a puzzle and you know what - this is exactly the reason I love Johnny To's films. It doesn't matter whether you solve it or not, because the thing is that there is no right answer and sure answer to it, only a forever lasting question mark! But seriously, this movie isn't really that fresh or that good, but it is just that it is a romantic comedy on a different level.
The story goes like this: In the film Andy and Sammi stars as a happily married couple who socializes with high society, but turns out they are actually thieves who both share the thrills and challenges of stealing. Although this perfect couple has divorced, and they continue to compete with one another, there is little doubt that they are still deeply in love with one another. Sammi decides to get close with Carl Ng, in an attempt to break into Jenny Wu's mansion to steal their family treasure... Yeah, sure it sounds like yet another one of those movies, but then again it is not.
Sure the movie resembles Running Out of Time and premises is too similar to say it is not alike or inspired by it. But comparing the two is totally unnecessary, because, this movie is no way near the quality of Running Out of Time, nor as touching as Needing You. This movie is sort of like Throw Down, a movie that grows on you the more you watch it and filling in the gaps, but this movie is not really that complicated and in fact it is not at all as it is just the twist that make the movie a thinking one. the contradicting images of the final sequence is good, but not great as Johnny To in his recent films is edging towards Wong Kar Wai style of not inflicting or trying to somehow avoid emotional attachment between the actor and the audience. But one aspect that makes the film is the pairing of Sammi and Andy Lau, and my god, it is the most natural pairing around and despite 3 pairings, I was left thinking - I want to watch another one with those two. They are just such a perfect match and the chemistry is undeniably fit or should I say - romantic.
The acting of Andy Lau is showing a great confidence once again and his acting is once again, a natural one and one that is more maturing as each movie goes by, However, while his performance is not as quirky or brilliant or smart as his award winning Running Out of Time, his is definitely more romantic this time around. Win any awards? I kinda doubt it, but his performance can not be understated. So what about my favourite singer (well former favourite) Sammi's performance, well she is just herself and that's why I like it, so natural and fun to watch and you know what I hear that she is pay more than Andy Lau. Funny Ah? Well, she is the box-office Queen and still is holding on it at the moment, but it is only a matter of time, she will become the next Anita Yuen... semi-retirement, and if that happens - who the hell cares yet, it is not even tomorrow yet! So just enjoy the mean time.
So do I like this movie? Well, it is a yes and no, but the overall feeling is leaning towards the positive from the halfway mark, due to the quick quirky and fun performances from Andy and Sammi and edging to a good and nice little neat ending at the end. Yeah the twist once again from Johnny To. Sure this is no Running Out of Time or Needing You, but as far as Romantic Comedies are concern this is one smart one and as far as crime drama are concern this is a hell of a fun ride. So do I like it? Well guess what I love fun movies and so too is this one.
I rate it 8/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Product Title : Yesterday Once More
Artist Name(s) : Andy Lau| Sammi Cheng
Language : Cantonese| Mandarin
Duration : 98 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - December 2004