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Johnnie To


#1

I just realized that we have no topic about this director. How come that we didn´t talked about him here?

For some time I saw PTU which I really like, it seems that the admin didn´t like it, but anyway. There are so many movies made by him…

What do you guys think about him?


#2

I’m no expert on Johnnie To, but I’ve been impressed by how he has made movies of almost every imaginable genre. Action, crime, martial arts, sci-fi, comedy, drama, fantasy, even superhero movies. So far I haven’t seen a single bad movie from him. But there’s still so many films I’ll have to check out (The Mission, A Hero Never Dies, Throwdown, Breaking News, Running Out of Time…)


#3

Yes, his work is multifaceted and chameleonic, but coz of that i can’t see any consistencies. Still he does genre films, not art house, so how much of him is in the movies ? I dunno. It’s said he directs romcom’s for the money, and the gangster stuff for himself, but who does know ?



To be true i know less of his former movies and more of his Milkyway Image production company era.

From the early works there is Heroic Trio of course , the overrated Stephen Chow legal comedy Justice My Foot , the brutal cop actioner Big Heat [ Tsui Hark was involved and Andrew Kam also ] and Loving You, which is very good at beginning, but then transforming into Regarding Henry and using Clay Aiken’s “To love Somebody” , gosh. Lifeline is HK’s answer to Backdraft, and the US one is better, because To’s movie works like a pilot for an action soap series like TVB’s Burning Flame.



And then the over-stylish Gangster movies. I’ve to say, i like his produced Expect the Unexpected ,The Longest Nite, The Odd One Dies [ all directed by Patrick Yau. Where is he actual ? ] more than his directed A Hero Never Dies, The Mission and Running Out of Time. Too may Ways to be #1 is also only produced by him, but who’s talking of Wai Ka Fai ?



Of the romcoms i’ve only watched Love on a Diet, which was schmaltzy.

And the later work of him seems to based on one great and creative opening shot [ PTU, Breaking News, Running on Karma ].


#4

[quote=“Contrai”]
Yes, his work is multifaceted and chameleonic, but coz of that i can’t see any consistencies. Still he does genre films, not art house, so how much of him is in the movies ? I dunno. It’s said he directs romcom’s for the money, and the gangster stuff for himself, but who does know ?
[/quote]

Difficult for me to judge, cuz I have seen not that much of his work. So far only: Running on Karma, Running out of Time, PTU, The Mission, The Enigmatic Case, Fulltime Killer.

And there is so much to see.



But for me there is a huge…hm… kinda humor in his work. We talked about the scene in Running out of time, when the fire comes close to the car (don´t wanna spoil here for others…) and something unexpected happens. That was IMO cool. On the other hand he is a action man. I like the way, he directs his stuff. But I have to see more - thanx for the recommondations…


#5

I’ve only seen “The Heroic Trio” so far. It was so-so. Felt a bit cheap and inconsistent, like they cut out a lot about character-development. For example we never get to know how the girls where trained, still we see some flashbacks to training-sequences. Still it had some style, and the fighting-choreography by Ching Siu Tung was watchable, though it was more about making the ladies look good than actually to deliver some kickass-action-scenes. He did a much better job with “Naked Weapon” and “House of flying Daggers” (we’re talking Ching Siu Tung here, not Johnny To :wink: )



And, wait, “Fulltime Killer” is by Johnny To? I liked that one a lot, but the final shootout was too short and a bit anticlimactic. It felt rushed. But overall a very stylish movie, got a bit of a “mangaesque”-feeling. Well, the scene where one of the killers was sitting in the movie-theater with a president’s mask on his face felt kinda ridiculous and out-of-place.


#6

i watched Heroic Trio years ago, can’t remember much.

It was pure comic, setting looked more like a Tim Burton flick. and i wasn’t keen on wirework, so it’s also only a so-so in my book.

Haven’t watched the sequel till now.



I don’t like Fulltime Killer. It’s a well-directed movie, but the script is lousy and the hommages to other genre pieces are fan-boyish.


#7

Haven’t seen that much by him yet. Fulltime Killer’s my favorite. The Mission almost put me to sleep. And if you watch Heroic Trio as a comic-book movie, it works.


#8

Heroic Trio sure isn’t for everyone. After the first 10 minutes I thought I was gonna hate the movie, but then I started liking it, and finally I loved the ending. Anita Mui, Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh all looked ridiculous, but I got used to it. And Anthony Wong was awesome as ‘The Monster’.



The sequel (Executioners) is a bit less stupid, but even more entertaining. Anthony Wong was great again, but my favourite was Takeshi Kaneshiro who plays a cult leader who look just like Jesus. And just like with the first film, the soundtrack was very good this time too.



Has anyone seen ‘Mad Monk’ starring Stephen Chow, Maggie Cheung and Anita Mui?


#9

I saw two of his movies earlier this year at the International film Festival Rotterdam and thought they were great. A Hero Never dies is one of the best gangster pictures there is. This is the one-director I wanna see a lot more of. I saw PTU and it was a little bit of a dissapointment but hell, not every movie can be as great as A Hero Never Dies…