Let’s start with a big ‘un. Voted the greatest Hong Kong film ever made by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society in a 2010 poll, Days of Being Wild has one of the most oversized reputations of any local movie. ‘A rapturous film’ says The New York Times and Wong Kar-wai’s ‘first undisputed triumph’. Possibly it’s that tag of this being Wong Kar-wai’s first ‘real’ Wong Kar-wai film that explains the undue praise. After all, Wong’s decision to shoot without a script hobbled the production – Leslie Cheung’s Yuddie is an opaque lead difficult to empathise with; Tony Leung Chiu-wai had his character removed almost completely and only appears in the credits and for no discernible reason; and we see little of the interior life of the film’s two female leads.
The Hong Kong movie industry is rightly celebrated. Numerous outstanding films have been made here – see our top 100 Hong Kong movies list – but let’s be honest, some are more worthy of applause than others. In the same way that Crash is definitely not the best movie of 2004, there are certain local flicks that have been praised beyond reason. Here are some of the the worst offenders. And if you think we’re being too harsh and disagree with our list, let us know what you think on Facebook and in the comments.
And if you’re after more Hong Kong movies – including plenty that deserve the praise they got – check out our lists for the best Hong Kong romcoms and best wuxia movies.