Movie review: Project Gutenberg

09 Oct 2018 / 11:34 H.

    THERE are many things going for this film. It has Hong Kong movie legend Chow going into full A Better Tomorrow mode in a big shoot-out scene, it has a plot with lots of twists, and a director who is able to keep you interested even when some aspects of the plot do not make much sense.
    The story begins with Lee Man (Aaron Kwok) in a Thai prison where he is frantically preparing a letter.
    The Hong Kong police arrive to extradite him, and we learn that Lee is involved with a gang that makes ‘super’ dollars, or counterfeit US dollars that are so perfect you can’t tell them apart from the original.
    Back in Hong Kong, Inspector Ho (Catherine Chau) tries to get Lee to give up his boss Ng Fuk-seng aka The Painter (Chow Yun-Fat), but Lee is too afraid as he says Ng will kill him.
    Before the cops can proceed, Lee’s old flame Yuen Man (Zhang Jingchu) shows up with some lawyers and tries to have him released on bail.
    Due to the nature of the crime, their efforts are stymied unless Lee helps the cops.
    Yuen convinces Lee to talk and so begins a series of flashbacks about Lee’s failed career as an artist; his failed relationship with Yuen who was a far more talented artist than him; how he became an art forger and ended up working for the murderous Ng; and other stuff that if revealed here will give away key elements of the plot.
    Director Chong, one of the co-writers of the Infernal Affairs movies, directs an good crime drama but what really carries this film is the actors, especially the way Chow and Kwok play off each other.
    There are quite a few twists in the plot (he could have cut it down to just a couple), and a side-plot involving Inspector Ho and a cop from Canada that should have been scrapped altogether.
    If you are a fan of Chow and Kwok, go watch this film.

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