Time And Tide (2000)
AKA Shun Liu Ni Liu
I remember this one fondly. I forgot how good it was. How easily it walks the line between life and death, and love and hate, and the complexity of our so sometimes stupidly human struggle.
The soundtrack's sparse but well-weighted. The action scenes are ferocious. Love is in the air. Emotions are heavy. Contemplations are all over the place. It's messy, yet oddly refined and wholesome when it's all over.
The special effects haven't aged great, but fortunately there's little of those. Mostly with the explosions.
The style: You could say it walks a line between Hard Boiled and Black Mask. Somewhere between those two. With hard-pressed bad-asses who feel no pain, with realistic gunfire and weaponry, and with theatrical smokescreens and explosions. It's got it all. In moderate dosage.
A fridge scene that rivals the Indiana Jones one too.
Plot-wise it may feel a bit fragmented, but it's a gem. Of violence and of the world. Of all the things that somehow merge and make our place in time possible. It starts with the end of a life, and ends with the start of a new one, on so many levels...
Mistook this title for Tokyo Raiders earlier btw. It's not even close. This is it.
rated 4.5/5: almost awesome