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Capsule Reviews

Chinese Odyssey 2002    (2002)
Chinese Odyssey 2002 is a Wong Kar-wai production and it is quite obvious. The mannerism, the slow-paced story, the production design, the wonderful music and a great cast (Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Faye Wong, Vicky Zhao Wei, Chan Chen…) prove that Wong Kar-wai is behind all this. But not only. Jeff Lau is the director here. Together, they are like enfants terribles of the HK cinema. The two filmmakers, good friend in life, make a lot of private jokes about Wong Kar-wai successes (Chungking Express, Happy Together, Ashes Of Time, Fallen Angels…) or Jeff Lau's tale of the Monkey King A Chinese Odyssey with Stephen Chow Sing-chi. In Chinese Odyssey 2002 there is this particular sense of non-sensical humour you'll get as well from Eagle Shooting Heroes (Dong Cheng Xi Jiu) also made by this team. It is a fine example of the Wong Kar-wai system: a day-to-day written script constituted of a succession of scenes, sometimes self-sufficient. The scenario eventually lands on its feet. The result isn't always hilarious but the beauty and the entertainment of the whole thing make it an enjoyable show. It's worth mentioning that the movie is much less intellectualised than the usual Wong Kar-wai movies and thus it's maybe a bit more accessible… But I still prefer my Wong Kar-wai art-house movie though…
Thomas Podvin 1/15/2003 - top

Chinese Odyssey 2002    (2002)
It is a Wong Kar-wai production and it is quite obvious. The mannerism, the slow-paced story, the production design, the wonderful music and a great cast (Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Faye Wong, Vicky Zhao Wei, Chan Chen…) prove that Wong Kar-wai is behind all this. But not only. Jeff Lau is the director here. Together, they are like enfants terribles of the HK cinema. The two filmmakers, good friend in life, make a lot of private jokes about Wong Kar-wai successes (Chungking Express, Happy Together, Ashes Of Time, Fallen Angels…) or Jeff Lau's tale of the Monkey King A Chinese Odyssey with Stephen Chow Sing-chi. In Chinese Odyssey 2002 there is this particular sense of non-sensical humour you'll get as well from Eagle Shooting Heroes (Dong Cheng Xi Jiu) also made by this team. It is a fine example of the Wong Kar-wai system: a day-to-day written script constituted of a succession of scenes, sometimes self-sufficient. The scenario eventually lands on its feet. The result isn't always hilarious but the beauty and the entertainment of the whole thing make it an enjoyable show. It's worth mentioning that the movie is much less intellectualised than the usual Wong Kar-wai movies and thus it's maybe a bit more accessible… But I still prefer my Wong Kar-wai art-house movie though…
Laurent Henry 5/8/2002 - top

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