Lighter in tone than most Woo thrillers, this begins - disconcertingly - far away from the mean streets of Hong Kong as three master thieves plan to steal a Modigliani masterpiece outside Paris. The opening stunt, involving car, motorcycle and parachute, is slickly handled but bloodless. Only when the thieves become involved in an epic seafront shoot-out does Woo really get into his customary kinetic groove. Back in Hong Kong, the pace quickens, but the attempt to combine comedy with hardboiled action doesn't convince. Nor do the director's usual musings on friendship and family loyalty carry much resonance.
John Woo, Clifton Ko, Janet Chun
Chow Yun Fat
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