MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 3,571 this week

Ashes of Time (1994)
"Dung che sai duk" (original title)

7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 8,672 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 42 user | 120 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

A broken-hearted hit man moves to the desert where he finds skilled swordsmen to carry out his contract killings.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $7.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 19 Mar 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 09 Aug 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 29 Aug 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Ashes of Time" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Ashes of Time (1994)

Ashes of Time (1994) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ashes of Time.

User Polls

10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Chiu Wai Leung
2046 (2004)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The women who enter a science fiction author's life, over the course of a few years, after the author loses the woman he considers his one true love.

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Faye Wong
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Kar Wai Wong
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Jin Zhang
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A graying black-clad swordsman slays palace guards, as he flies through the air to an uncertain purpose. Centuries (or is it days?) later, gun-toting, Armani-clad super policemen -- Hong ... See full summary »

Directors: David Lai, Corey Yuen
Stars: Andy Lau, Anita Mui, Aaron Kwok
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young woman takes a soul-searching journey across America to resolve her questions about love while encountering a series of offbeat characters along the way.

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A parody of Louis Cha's novel The Eagle Shooting Heroes (thats the literal translation). Story begins with the Queen of Golden Wheel Kingdom had an affair with her cousin West Poison, and ... See full summary »

Director: Jeffrey Lau
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung
Ashes of Time (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A fictitious account of the early years of the Yun Do-hyeon Band, an underground group in South Korea. Do-hyeon drops out of school to become a singer, but production of his first album is ... See full summary »

Director: Hong-Joon Kim
Stars: Do-hyeon Yun, Chang-wan Kim, Yong-won Jo
The Ferryman (2015)
Drama | Romance

A young woman falls in love with married painter Ma Li, whose wife is unfaithful to him.

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Wei Tang, Gianna Jun, Tony Chiu Wai Leung
Six Days (Video 2002)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

DJ Shadow video directed by Wong Kar Wai. A man tries to erase all traces of his former lover only to realize the futility of the attempt.

Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Chen Chang, Danielle Graham
Deja Vu III (2012)
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Chen Chang, Du Juan
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Leslie Cheung ...
...
...
Jacky Cheung ...
...
Li Bai ...
...
Peach Blossom
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joey Wang ...
(scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Ou-yang Feng lives in the middle of a desert, where he acts as a middle man to various swordsmen in ancient China. One of those swordsmen is Huang Yao-shi, who has found some magic wine that causes one to forget the past. At another time, Huang met Mu-rong Yin and under the influence of drink, promised to marry Mu-rong's sister Mu-rong Yang. Huang jilts her, and Mu-rong Yin hires Ou-yang to kill Huang. But then Mu-rong Yang hires Ou-yang to protect Huang. This is awkward, because Mu-rong Yang and Mu-rong Yin are in reality the same person. Other unrelated plot lines careen about. Among them is Ou-yang's continuing efforts to destroy a band of horse thieves. Oy-yang recruits another swordsman, a man who is going blind and wants to get home to see his wife before his sight goes completely. The swordsman is killed. Ou-yang then meets another swordsman who doesn't like wearing shoes. Oy-yang sends this man after the horse thieves, with better results. We then find out what a man must give... Written by Scott Hamilton <stomptokyo@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 September 1994 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Ashes of Time  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

HKD 40,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SGD 368,000 (Singapore)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Redux)

Sound Mix:

(Redux version)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film had an exhausting effect on Kar Wai Wong. While on hiatus during the editing process he wrote and shot Chungking Express (1994) (Chungking Express) to "clear his head". See more »

Quotes

Ou-yang Feng: If you don't want to be turned down by people, the best way is to turn them down first.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Eagle Shooting Heroes (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A haunting postmodern genre revision...
16 June 1999 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

Loosely based on the Chinese heroic literature classic, "The Eagle-Shooting Heroes" by prolific Wuxia author Louis Cha, ASHES OF TIME is conspicuous for the unusual and postmodern approach it takes to a genre so firmly entrenched in Hong Kong cinema.

The "story" consists interactions between various characters as they weave in and out of each other's lives, with a small village in a bleak desert wasteland as the crossroads. These vignettes are not always sequential, and we must gradually piece together the relationships and backgrounds of the protagonists, some of which contribute to a larger story, while others do not. The all-star cast portrays a varied palette of characters, perfectly flawed incarnations of fantastical beings, with performances teetering on the line between disarming humanity and iconic romanticism.

One thing to love about this movie is the way that director Wong Kar-Wai takes the reflective internal monologues and quirky, alienated losers from his other films and transposes them to the world of Chinese heroic fantasy. It's an interesting idea that both ennobles and deconstructs the genre. Martial-arts superheroes who can literally shear mountainsides with a wave of the sword, mired in their own personal conflicts and bouts with inadequacy, in the points of time that occur between the legend-worthy events. This unusual treatment lends these mythic characters a familiar dimension that is both poetic and banal. The cast and the desert are wrenchingly beautiful in the same starkly desolate way. The music consists of odd synth dirges, like a moody clash of Ennio Morricone and Vangelis (particularly the 1492 soundtrack), but it is nonetheless hauntingly atmospheric.

ASHES OF TIME is a truly beautiful movie. The cinematography is a lush blend of stunningly arid vistas, iconic posturing, minute sensual gestures, grainy documentary-style camera-work, and stylish, impressionistic fight sequences. A visual metaphor for textiles and tapestry persists, with the various interwoven plots echoed in the camera's almost tactile attention to fabric and texture throughout... sometimes tightly bound like an inescapable net, others fraying apart like elusive memories.

That said, this movie is not going to appeal to everyone. The disjointed dreamlike narrative can be confusing initially, with so many characters behaving in obscure ways, backwards and forwards in time. Still, in the end, if you take some time to retrace your steps, it all does fit together remarkably well. The puzzle pieces really do form a coherent picture, but for most people it will probably take a second viewing to see it all.

Also, those looking for the action sequences Hong Kong movies are famous for, will find the emphasis is on the characters and their meandering thoughts. When the (nonetheless exciting and very cool) action scenes do take place, they are blurred hyperkinetic washes of motion. While Hong Kong action films have some of the greatest choreography captured on film, ASHES OF TIME attempts to capture an impressionistic, psychological aspect as well, sometimes obscuring the action as much as displaying it.

This movie takes many of its cues from Sergio Leone's revisionist westerns. The stylized desert environment is the wastes of New Mexico revisited through Chinese legend, complete with tormented superhumanly-skilled anti-hero swordsmen/gunslingers, lost, deromanticized ideals, melodramatic showdowns, and roving hundreds-strong gangs of horse thieves. Still, Ashes of Time manages to be its own beast, a technical, artistic, visual, sentimental masterpiece, that gives a new twist on old conventions, while simultaneously managing to belong very much to Wong Kar-Wai's thematic oeuvre. A movie you won't easily forget.


33 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This was not an action movie!!!!!!!!111111co s(0) CUSeeMeGuzzle
Differences of the REDUX garysan
A BONA-FIDE ABSOLUTE 10/10 MASTERPIECE rick_7
amazing movie jeniyangdx
UK DVD? pez44
Beware - World Video DVD quality is terrible! Ikarus65
Discuss Ashes of Time (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?