Ashes Of Time Redux

Hong Kong master Wong Kar-Wai has a penchant for tinkering, having returned to the edit room after the first screenings of his luxuriant sci-fi odyssey, ‘2046’, and last year’s kook-heavy misfire, ‘My Blueberry Nights’. Now he has decided to make some minor tweaks to his fourth (perhaps most incongruous) feature from 1994, already an idiosyncratic riff on the traditional Hong Kong martial arts movie.

A thin, fiddly yarn about family rivalry and desert-bound emotional intrigue provides the backdrop for Wong’s trademark directorial flourishes, yin and yang characterisations and dialogue that’s full of ‘clever lines’. Christopher Doyle’s photography, with its predilection for deeply skewed angles and OTT colour juxtapositions, feels garish, unhinged and even slightly dated. Add to that Wong’s total denial of genre fulfilment – down to filming the few battle scenes in a thick fug of dust – and it makes for frustrating and unreasonably demanding viewing.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday September 12 2008
Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Wong Kar-wai
Screenwriter: Wong Kar-wai
Cast: Jacky Cheung
Leslie Cheung
Maggie Cheung
Tony Leung
Brigitte Lin
Carina Lau
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