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industrialist's Movie Reviews (20)

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4/4

 

Exiled ( Fong juk ) 
Hidden Gold
3/4 stars

Director Johnnie To has delivered a vast and diverse oeuvre of films, crossing genres from Romance to Melodrama, but it has been within the grounding of Action/Crime cinema that he has found his most fervent admirers. While his most decorated successes are Election, The Mission and Fulltime Killer, Exiled is perhaps his most wholly satisfying accomplishment. It is his most inter-disciplinary framework, with the Hong Kong Heroic Bloodshed formula underlying a prevalent grounding of Jean-Pierre Melville and Sergio Leone. Indeed, the influences are articulated well in both the male-dominated spatiality and wide angle vistas that float effortlessly between sombre-tinted shootouts in nighttime Macau to the gold-drenched cinematography of its open hinterlands. Equally as engaging is Guy Zerafa's brilliant score, which effortlessly straddles the alpha-male orchestrations and Spaghetti Western twangs made famous by Morricone and his peers. Indeed, the film score in the climax is indicative of the entire proceedings it arches - a series of borrowed fragments, familiar archetypes, unfettered homages and loose writing that somehow culminates into a grand and satisfying finale.


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