Chungking Express
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -1 1/2

This Hong Kong foreign language film, subtitled in English, is two separate stories connected by innovative, cutting-edge filming techniques. Both stories deal with policemen who are coping with the loss of a girlfriend. Policeman #223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro) in the first story is despondent over breaking up with his girl. He consoles himself by buying cans of pineapple, her favorite food, dated May 1, which is his birthday and the anniversary of their breakup. Policeman #223 meets a beautiful blond (Brigitte Lin Chin-Hsia) in a bar. He doesn't know she is a drug smuggler. The second policeman, #663 (Tony Leung Chi-Wai), loses his flight attendant girlfriend, and he is consoled by a waitress (Valerie Chow) at the Midnight Express. The rather confusing plot has some interesting features, as well as some funny and poignant scenes. Chungking Express will appeal mostly to film buffs who will appreciate its fascinating filmmaking techniques and the exotic culture portrayed that make an otherwise confusing plot entertaining.

This most unusual film has surprisingly little offensive language, violence or sex. One obscenity is spoken, but no other foul language is typed into the subtitles. The drug smuggler spends the night with Policeman #223 in a hotel room, but he watches old movies and she falls asleep. When she leaves the hotel the next morning, she goes out and shoots her enemies. After that, the film cuts to the second story and we never see her again. Sex is implied between the flight attendant and policeman #663 when she is shown in bed and he is getting dressed. Chungking Express has no complicated, heavy message, or even any spiritual references. The characters are fairly shallow 20-somethings who seem to be living for their own pleasure and misery. With its casual treatment of premarital sex, this film sends out the wrong message about commitment and love.

Preview Reviewer: Theresa Zumwalt
Distributor: Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., NY, NY 10017

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Once (s-word)
Profanity: None
Violence: Once - Moderate (drug smuggler kills enemies, but images blurred)
Sexual Intercourse: None; implied once (woman in bed)
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking; reference to smugglers swallowing condoms filled with drugs
Other: Man throws up; casual treatment of premarital sex
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Foreign film buffs

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