A relatively early outing from three of the young talents of Eastern cinema, this was a demonstration of the future potential of its lead stars.
Daniel Wu plays Joker, a young computer graphics designer tasked with designing the perfect female game character. Inspiration, however, is limited in his company as they design a beauty but lacks personality. In his search for ideas, he encounters Ling (Angelica Lee), a nightclub bar girl who peddles drugs to survive. Despite her beautiful shell, Joker and his brother, Kid (Edison Chen), discover a complex character with a dark background: a father in jail, a mentally ill mother, and a younger brother who seems always to be in the midst of trouble. And yet Joker's princess.
Despite the cheesiness of the outline, the flesh is actually okay. Angelica Lee shines with her performance of a very complicated character, one that is in search of not so much happiness, but more of an average life, yet knows how to have fun. However, she is pretty much the only 3D character (indeed she is supposed to be in the computer game) in the whole film. Which did mean that Daniel Wu and Edison Chen didn't really have the challenge.
The storyline, however, didn't match the quality of some of the performances. Never digging deep enough, never really explaining enough, it feels a bit like a run-of-the-mill kind of story. Again, I can't help but think that more could have been done with the plot. As it was, there was little to shout about.
This isn't a great film, but it's not half bad either. Angelica Lee is one of the great contemporary talents and I really believe she will go far. Even in this early film in her career, she really shone above the rest. One for Angelica fans.
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