7.7/10
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Fallen Angels (1995)

Do lok tin si (original title)
A disillusioned killer embarks on his last hit but first he has to overcome his affections for his cool, detached partner. Thinking it's dangerous and improper to become involved with a ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Kar Wai Wong)

Writer:

(as Kar Wai Wong)

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8 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
The Killer's Agent (as Michele Reis)
...
...
...
Fai-Hung Chan ...
The Man Forced to Eat Icecream
Man-Lei Chan ...
He Zhiwu's father (as Chen Man Lei)
Toru Saito ...
Sato
To-Hoi Kong ...
Ah-hoi
Lee-Na Kwan ...
Woman Pressed to Buy Vegetables
Yuhao Wu ...
Man forced to have his clothes washed
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Storyline

A disillusioned killer embarks on his last hit but first he has to overcome his affections for his cool, detached partner. Thinking it's dangerous and improper to become involved with a colleague he sets out to find a surrogate for his affections. Against the sordid and surreal urban nightscape (set in contemporary Hong Kong), he crosses path with a strange drifter looking for her mysterious ex-boyfriend and an amusing mute trying to get the world's attention in his own unconventional ways. Written by Perry Yu <perry@pobox.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fallen Angels  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character He Zhiwu, who is mute but able to communicate with the audience through narration, tells us he became mute after eating a tin of pineapple with a past expiration date. A character in the earlier Kar-Wai Wong film, Chungking Express (1994), is obsessed with the expiration dates on tins of pineapple. In addition, they are both named He Zhiwu (though the character in Chungking Express (1994) is a cop, and the character in this film is a former criminal) and both are played by the actor Takeshi Kaneshiro. Also his cop number and prisoner number are the same. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Killer's Agent: Are we still partners?
Wong Chi-Ming: [voiceover] We've been business partners for nearly three years. This is the first time we've ever sat together. We hardly ever see each other. I know how hard it is for a man to control his passion. Partners shouldn't get emotionally involved with each other.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Christopher Doyle: Filming in the Neon World (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Only You
Written by Vince Clark
Performed by The Flying Pickets
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User Reviews

 
Everything you have seen before and nothing like anything you have seen before.
26 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

One thing is for sure - it is everything you have seen before and nothing like anything you have seen before. As a Wong Kar-wai junkie, I have to admit - it is getting harder and harder to find a favorite - Fallen Angels is among the top three. In one sense I really loved Fallen Angels because it is full of the same urban angst brought up in Chungking Express. There is something utterly and strikingly gorgeous about Wong Kar-Wai's movies. The mise-en-scene and backdrops his characters inhabit in that give each scene a particular almost brooding feeling. Wong Kar-Wai's are lost and lonely in a world that is dark and full of despair. Fallen Angels is no different.

Fallen Angels' Hong Kong is alive in the evenings. One could argue that the cinematography captures a dreamlike state, pure urban neon, and erotic. In Fallen Angels we travel the gritty back alleys (reminiscent of Chunking Express) into underworld dives, dreary dive bars juxtaposed against a brightly-lit McDonalds. I have to say this... Wong Kar-wai does somewhat put me off with his product placement - but we have to finance our projects somehow, I guess.

Leon Lai's is a lazy hired killer. His portrayal, it can be argues is weighty and conjures up a sense of gaudy (almost caddy) persona. I am reminded of Yuddy in Days of Being Wild. Lai is wonderful as a contradiction of apathy and poetry. Lai plays it with a languid air. Every move is deliberate - smooth. Conversely, Michelle Reis' is his doppelganger - his manager. She is obsessed with him, becomes emotionally attached to him. I would argue that a sense of betrayal set the stage for the hit man's final demise. A nighttime ride in the back of a motorcycle with He Zhiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) leads me wonder is she has comes undone. Love though, and its many forms of cruelty is a recurring theme with Wong Kar-wai. Oh that sweet betrayal... He Zhiwu is a potent character. The relationship He Zhiwu develops with his father is proof positive that even in the broken world of dysfunctionality there resides a lotus from the marshes. The videotape sessions, at first almost humorous, forms yet another center of love shattered - sometimes we need to really treasure what we have lest it slip by so suddenly... he Zhiwu is a symbol of the lyricism of youth.

One has to admit, even after Chunking Express, Fallen Angels is different from any Hong Kong movie. Driven by inner monologue (much like the later much acclaimed The Follow from The Hire series) it draws one in. The languid tone and deeply erotic tale is one that will stand the test of time. Fallen Angels according to Teo takes over from where Chungking Express leaves of. I argue that it brought Chungking Express to a whole new realm. Fallen Angels is Chungking Express on steroids.

Miguel Llora


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