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Chungking Express

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The Tarantino juggernaut has gone international — witness this first release from the filmmaker’s distribution company, Rolling Thunder Pictures, a venture based on the assumption that whatever Quentin likes, his fans will enjoy. It’s clear what the pope of pulp responded to in director Wong Kar-Wai’s Chinese romantic comedy: goofy cops embroiled in offbeat love stories with quirky, mysterious women; stylized action scenes of drug smuggling and gunplay; a quick-cut tempo enlivened by unconventional camera angles; and a milieu of underworld crime, hot dog stands, and convenience stores. The sexy cast (particularly Wang as the free-spirited Faye and Takeshi Kaneshiro as the compulsive Qiwu) make the elliptical, somewhat disjointed stories more compelling, but ultimately Chungking Express itself is merely a flashy, ephemeral trifle.

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