Slow dancing with the love of your life on New Year’s. Teaching the girl you secretly love how to drive a car. Smelling the back of your girlfriend’s neck through her silky hair. These moments are exhilarating, emotionally comforting, and just plain sexy. “Chungking Express” is all of that.
Wong Kar-Wai is not necessarily a handsome man, but yet he always seems to be quite popular with the ladies. The reason for this? He has a sexy soul. From “Days of Being Wild” to “In the Mood for Love” — Wong Kar-Wai knows how to poetically paint sensuality and sexuality on the screen with his splashes of motion and color. When we see the world through his eyes — the world is one sexy place. Almost instantly, you will want to jump your honey and start making wild, passionate love on the spot.
“Chungking Express” plays like a romantic comedy, but has the energy of a classic Hong Kong action film. It tells two stories, both involving love-struck police officers trying to fill the voids in their lives. The first story stars Takeshi Kaneshiro as He Zhiwu aka Cop 223, a twentysomething that has just been dumped by his girlfriend and now roams around hoping she will take him back (she dumped him on on April Fool’s Day and he hopes the joke will end soon). The voice-over narration by Zhiwu is just absolutely adorable and insightful. For example, he speaks of things like “expiration dates” for people, relationships, and canned pineapples, as well he discusses how jogging a lot will drain his body of liquid so he won’t be able to cry about his lost love. Then just before he gives up on love, he runs into a drug smuggling woman in a blonde wig, played by Brigitte Lin in her last film role. Clearly two opposites, they spend the night together, but not in the traditional sense by far.
The second story stars Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Cop 663, a police officer who is in love with a flight attendant (and really, which male isn’t), but who as well finds himself alone and looking for love again when their romance fizzles out. He starts talking to the furniture and stuffed animals in his apartment and begins losing sight of the world around him — but not to worry, an eccentric and cute girl named Faye comes to his rescue. In her first feature film, Faye Wong, who is now like a pop goddess in Hong Kong, absolutely steals the show as a quirky food stand server that develops a crush on Cop 663 and literally redecorates his life.
Two very sweet stories infused with a frenetic energy is essentially what “Chungking Express” is. It is no wonder that this film is loved by people like Quentin Tarantino and also happens to be my most favorite film of all time as well.
Posted on December 15, 2008 in Reviews by Lawrence Wang
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