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The crime thrillers of Hong Kong director Johnny To are not only action packed but smart, and this 2004 feature about a botched heist is full of vibrant and intriguing characters. Beginning with one fluid, uninterrupted shot nearly seven minutes long, cinematographer Cheung Siu-keung follows the crooks up and down streets and in and out of buildings. Badly outnumbered by police, they take hostages in an apartment mid-rise, and as the no-nonsense police commander (Kelly Chen) tangles with a maverick detective (Nick Cheung), the cocky ringleader (Richie Ren) uses the Internet to sabotage the commander's carefully orchestrated press coverage. Peppered with moments that are both sad and funny, this ends with a media-savvy twist. In Mandarin and Cantonese with subtitles. 90 min. a Fri 2/23, 6 PM, and Sun 2/25, 3:15 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center.


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