IMDb > Running Out of Time (1999)
Am zin
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Running Out of Time (1999) More at IMDbPro »Am zin (original title)

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Running Out of Time -- Police inspector and excellent hostage negotiator Ho Sheung-Sang finds himself in over his head when he is pulled into a 72 hour game by a cancer suffering criminal out for vengeance on Hong Kong's organised crime Syndicates


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Down 44% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Nai-Hoi Yau (written by) &
Laurent Courtiaud (written by) ...
View company contact information for Running Out of Time on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 September 1999 (Hong Kong) See more »
A criminal genius, who has only 14 days left in his life. A CID, who has the support of the entire police force. A psychological but fatal game between two men of super talent.
Police inspector and excellent hostage negotiator Ho Sheung-Sang finds himself in over his head when he is pulled into a 72 hour game by a cancer suffering criminal out for vengeance on Hong Kong's organized crime Syndicates. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The best of enemies See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order)

Andy Lau ... Cheung

Ching Wan Lau ... Inspector Ho Sheung-Sang (as Lau Ching Wan)
YoYo Mung ... Leung Yuen Ting - Girl on Mini Bus (as Yoyo Mung)
Waise Lee ... Baldy (as Lee Chi Hung)
Shiu Hung Hui ... Chief Inspector Wong Kai-fat (as Hui Shiu Hung)
Suet Lam ... Suet, Baldy's Henchman (as Lam Suet)
Ruby Wong ... Head of Interpol
Wai Al ... Cop at bank (as Al Wai)
Wai Kin Lam ... Negotiator Hui (as Lam Wai Kin)

Robert Sparks ... Diamond Dealer
Wai Leung Hung ... Building Caretaker (as Hung Wai Leung)
Ching Ting Law ... Elevator Cop (as Lo Ching Ting)
Man Shing Yau ... Bank Robber (as Yau Man Shing)
Tin Hung Yee ... SPU Leader (as Yee Tin Hung)
South Kei Lee ... Street Thug (as Lee South Kei)
Yan Tin So ... Office Worker (as So Yan Tin)
Wah Wo Wong ... Security Guard (as Wong Wah Woo)
Yui Sang Wong ... Operation Team Member (as Wong Yiu Sang)
Li Chun Man ... Operation Team Member
Chi Kwong Cheuk ... Operation Team Member (as Cheuk Chi Kwong)
Jerome Fung ... Operation Team Member
Chun Hung Cheung ... Operation Team Member
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yuk Wah Cheung ... Police officer
Sau Kei Lee ... Doctor (uncredited)

Directed by
Johnnie To 
Writing credits
Nai-Hoi Yau (written by) (as Yau Nai Hoi) &
Laurent Courtiaud (written by) &
Julien Carbon (written by)

Produced by
Catherine Chan .... production executive
Tiffany Chen .... administrative producer
Christina Lee Storm .... co-producer (as Christina Lee)
Yun Tao .... line producer
Johnnie To .... producer
Original Music by
Ying-Wah Wong  (as Raymond Wong)
Cinematography by
Siu-Keung Cheng (director of photography) (as Cheng Siu Keung)
Film Editing by
Chi Wai Chan  (as Chan Chi Wai)
Art Direction by
Jerome Fung 
Makeup Department
Tin Mei Ching .... makeup artist (as Ching Tin Mei)
Joe Kwong .... hair stylist
Production Management
Hin Koon Chan .... production manager
Ching Ting Law .... unit manager (as Law Jing Ting)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wing-cheong Law .... assistant director (as Law Wing Cheong)
Art Department
Wing Hing Lo .... head property master (as Lo Wing Hing)
Sound Department
Martin Richard Chappell .... location sound recordist (as Martin Chappell)
Martin Richard Chappell .... sound editor (as Martin Chappell)
May Mok .... boom operator
May Mok .... sound editor
Kuo-Hua Wu .... sound effects (as Ng Kwok Wah)
Special Effects by
Shui Tin Chi .... pyrotechnician (as Chi Shui Tim)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ting Fong Kwong .... best boy (as Kwong Ting Fung)
Hung Mo To .... focus puller (as To Hung Mo)
Kwok Chiu Wu .... gaffer (as Wu Kwok Chiu)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Yu Ho Tang .... wardrobe assistant (as Tang Yu Ho)
Other crew
Charles Heung .... presenter

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Am zin" - Hong Kong (original title)
"Hidden War" - Hong Kong (English title) (literal title)
See more »
93 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Cheung:Where am I going to die, when am I going to die... all that doesn't matter to me any more. The most important thing is that I don't die in a police station.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Boundless (2013)See more »


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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
The best of enemies, 23 February 2003

These are my thoughts after re-watching Aau Chin on a VCD recently bought at HK$15 (definitely NOT a pirated version). I still found it quite enjoyable.

The "setup", while not brilliant, is carefully done, with attention to details. No doubt the audience will find the total incompetence of the villiant "Baudy" quite unbelievable. But he only serves as something on which the duel between the two heroes is built.

Here's is where this film differs from many others in this genre (most notably John Woo's), in which the two heroes usually start off in sharp confrontations, although they may end up appreciating each other. Not here. Right from the beginning, Lau Ching-wan and Andy Lau give you the impression that they are engaged in no more than a friendly game of chess. I, for one, like this arrangement, as a refreshing change.

Lau Ching-wan delivers his usual easy style that is well liked by his audience. He is the mouse in this cat-and-mouse game, a dignified mouse, for that matter. Andy Lau is the cool cat, actually too cool. Hong Kong movie stars who are also Canto pop stars (and that accounts for some 90% of them) often have to watch the role they play in movies to ensure that they wouldn't tarnish their image as a singer. Andy Lau, however, is so popular that I don't think he needs that caution. He just like to look cool in this movie. Didn't hurt either, as it won him his first Hong Kong Oscar.

Finally, while this is a good movie from director Johnny To, my top favorite of his is The Mission, in which style is king.

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