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Movie Reviews

Time and Tide  

Genre: Hong Kong action
rating 2.5/4

Directed by: Tsui Hark

"Time and Tide" is the latest action flick to come out of Hong Kong, and
although it can be heralded for its high speed pace and amazing action
sequences, its overly convoluted story line made it very difficult to follow
and almost impossible to care for any of the characters. This movie whizzes
by with immense fury, yet we can't help but feel a bit left behind.


Tyler (Nicholas Tse) is 21 years old and has just got hit by the possibility
that he might soon be a father. Feeling somewhat responsible for the
unexpected pregnancy and wanting to take care of his child, he gets a job as
an underground bodyguard. Here he befriends Jack (Wu Bai), a ruthless
mercenary with the talents of James Bond (maybe more). The two initially
find themselves working for the same team, until slowly they drift apart and
find themselves on opposite sides.

The action/fight scenes in "Time and Tide" are the best ones I've seen since
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". They are so exhilaratingly choreographed
that one can almost overlook the film's many flaws. One exceptional
sequence, set in some tenement buildings, stands out and was just totally
out of this world. Bullets zipping by every which way, guys flying out of
windows left and right, camera shots that make you wonder how they did it
and a well-made freeze frame of a gas explosion. I also liked the
cinematography and visual tricks used by Hark, which highly compliments the
fast momentum of the film.

However, the story gets lost behind all the commotion and turbulence. I
wasn't even sure whether I got the entire plot right. Characters just pop
out of nowhere, and we have no idea what their relationships are to any of
the others or what their purpose were for being on screen. I was reduced to
categorizing people into good guys and bad guys, and even then I was
sometimes guessing. Events are so convoluted that I lost interest in the
characters. I just didn't care for any of them anymore.

"Time and Tide" had a great adrenaline rush, cool visuals, but not much of
anything else. It has a promising story that could have been handled a lot
more tactfully, but the plot gets lost in Hark's indulgences. Fight
sequences are memorable, but characters are forgettable.


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