7.7/10
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Fallen Angels (1995)

Do lok tin si (original title)
This Hong Kong-set crime drama follows the lives of a hitman, hoping to get out of the business, and his elusive female partner.

Director:

Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)

Writer:

Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)

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8 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leon Lai ... Wong Chi-Ming / Killer
Michelle Reis ... The Killer's Agent (as Michele Reis)
Takeshi Kaneshiro ... He Zhiwu
Charlie Yeung ... Charlie / Cherry
Karen Mok ... Punkie / Blondie / Baby
Fai-Hung Chan Fai-Hung Chan ... The Man Forced to Eat Icecream
Man-Lei Chan Man-Lei Chan ... He Zhiwu's father (as Chen Man Lei)
Toru Saito Toru Saito ... Sato
To-Hoi Kong To-Hoi Kong ... Ah-hoi
Lee-Na Kwan Lee-Na Kwan ... Woman Pressed to Buy Vegetables
Yuhao Wu Yuhao Wu ... Man forced to have his clothes washed
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Storyline

A disillusioned killer embarks on his last hit but first he has to overcome his affections for his cool, detached partner. Thinking it's dangerous and improper to become involved with a colleague he sets out to find a surrogate for his affections. Against the sordid and surreal urban nightscape of contemporary Hong Kong, he crosses path with a strange drifter looking for her mysterious ex-boyfriend and an amusing mute trying to get the world's attention in his own unconventional ways. Written by Perry Yu <perry@pobox.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese

Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fallen Angels See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally intended to be the third segment in Wong's previous film Chungking Express (1994) before he eventually decided that the film was complete without it. The third segment was expanded into a feature length film which became this one. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Killer's Agent: Are we still partners?
Wong Chi-Ming: [voiceover] We've been business partners for nearly three years. This is the first time we've ever sat together. We hardly ever see each other. I know how hard it is for a man to control his passion. Partners shouldn't get emotionally involved with each other.
See more »

Connections

Edited into A Moment in Time (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Karmacoma
Performed by Massive Attack
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User Reviews

what the detractors are missing about this film
25 July 2004 | by mad elaineSee all my reviews

The following was excerpted from a wonderful essay by Momus, and nicely highlights the themes that this film is all about (which are totally missed by the complainers here who called it boring).

"Isolated, impulsive heroes, nocturnal locations, cool music... a violent world in which sensitive people nevertheless continue to dream romantic dreams indifferent to the surrounding carnage.

In 'Fallen Angels' this happens quite literally: Agent girl Michelle Reis moons and munches dreamily in the wideangle foreground while in the background a triad fight happens in slow motion.

It's the Walkman syndrome, a thing you notice when you visit the orient. The bigger the population, the more busy the city, the more people develop the ability to retreat into an inner isolation, the space of a snackbar, a tatami mat, a computer screen, a song playing on headphones.

In the next century we will all live like this.

Wong Kar Wei maps out a perfectly postmodern, perfectly oriental psychogeography of small, busy places which nevertheless become the spawning ground of ultra-private obsessions and infatuations. Love in his films is more likely to be expressed by someone breaking into your apartment and tidying it, or by masturbation, than a healthy clinch. It is the mindset of ultrafetish, and cinematographer Chris Doyle puts it into images: a clear plastic sheath worn over a Chinese silk dress, a mute riding the corpse of a pig in an abattoir, a blow up sex doll with its head stuck in an elevator door, being kicked insanely by a couple of ultra-romantic maniacs.

And there is the real star, the traum-city itself. Corridors, subways, neon, time lapse, travelators and low flying jets, trains, shopping arcades, Chung King Mansions stuffed to the gullets with sullen, sweating people cooled by antique electric fans, the scheming tattooed triads, outbursts of random violence, warehouses, chopping knives, video cameras, motorbikes speeding through tunnels, the multi-racial hand in hand with the super-commercial... Hong Kong insinuates itself into our imaginations as the ubertraumstadt, the place of ultimate nightmare and ultimate romance, where beauty is all the more poignant for its dark, cheap, pitiless setting and dreams are all the more necessary."


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