When three close friends escape from Hong Kong to war-time Saigon to start a criminal's life, they all go through a harrowing experience which totally shatters their lives and their friendship forever.
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung,
Set in Hong Kong and Vancouver, the story follows Mac Ramsey and Li Ann Tsei, lovers and professional thieves who are separated while fleeing the powerful Hong Kong underworld crime lord ... See full summary »
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 »
Once a Thief is an action/comedy/romance movie involving the plight of three master thieves (in the mode of Pink Panther). All three were raised by the same father and in fact were most certainly street orphans. The story begins with a successful art heist followed by a pledge to make this the last crime ever for the trio. The plot revolves around the theft of a mysterious "cursed" painting and how its obsession affects the family.Written by
When Joe and Cherie are driving behind the truck, that is transporting the paintings (including their marked one), you can clearly see the rope holding the car of Joe and Cherie close to the truck during the stunt scene. See more »
I want to live somewhere peaceful, that isn't at war.
Red Bean Pudding:
Iraq? There's no war in Iraq. Or go to heaven, they have clean air!
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I don't have a lot of reverence for John Woo. I have next to no interest in gangster movies with lots of shooting. But I love kung fu movies. Unfortunately, John Woo hardly ever does any of those. Oh, the mature John Woo can certainly do action (as in Mission Impossible 2, the best of the lot), but most of his stuff strikes me as horribly dull. In Once A Thief, he attempts a light-hearted action-drama-comedy starring three orphans who are raised first as thieves and then apparently as cops, and then end up becoming thieves. Or something.
The movie is dull as dish-water. Featuring insufferable Hong Kong humor (dumb and malicious practical jokes which aren't funny to the ones they happen to, but apparently a barrel of laughs to a Hong Kong audience), and a terrible soundtrack (featuring accordions and such) which is apparently supposed to sound French.
Chow Yun Fat's acting is frankly horrid, and his character is a moronic bastard. He's the main reason that this movie is bordering on the unwatchable. (Not that he hasn't been good in other movies; he certainly has. Especially in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.)
I watched this movie because I'm a fan of the Once A Thief TV show (1997), which I love. It does everything right - both the comedy and the seriousness -, and happily has nothing whatsoever beyond the name and the fact that it's got three lead characters in it in common with the movie. The characters in the movie are not involved in an organized crime family like the ones in the TV show, and in the TV show they aren't even thieves (well, they were once, but...), so the title doesn't make sense, either, as anything but an attempt to capitalize on the fame of the movie, the wisdom of which is questionable to say the least.
Anyway, I'll spare you my bitterness over John Woo's general suckage and just express my gratitude that he has nothing whatsoever to do with the TV show, despite being credited as executive producer.
3 out of 10.
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