Year of release: 2001
Bullets of Love
Leon Lai. Image courtesy of Deltamac.
Bullets of Love is a movie that manages to almost transcend some of the faults which seem to plague HK movies nowadays. Almost. Unfortunately, it falls prey to both the "style over substance" and "everything to everyone" traps, and becomes a bit bland in the process.
The story has Leon Lai as a cop who is pursuing two drug dealers (Terence Yin and Richard Sun). After he finally catches Terence, Leon's girlfriend (Asaka Seto) manages to put him behind bars after a grueling trial. In retaliation, Terence sends a female assassin to kill the couple. However, the assassin begins devolping feelings for Leon and only kills the girlfriend. Distraught, Leon heads to a remote village, where he helps to run his uncle's (Michael Chan) bar. Things seem to be going normally until a woman who looks exactly like Leon's girlfriend shows up.
Terence Yin. Image courtesy of Deltamac.
Of course, this leads to some twists and turns, which most viewers will see coming. This is one of Bullets of Love's main problems -- there's nothing really new here. There is an attempt to make things more dramatic and different with a subplot involving Leon's retarded uncle (Frankie Ng) getting married, but this mostly serves to slow the film down during a point where things should be moving faster, especially after the movie gets off to a good start in its' first half-hour or so. Many film-makers from both the US and HK seem to be neglecting the second act nowadays, and Bullets of Love is another example of this. The whole middle of the picture just seems flat.
Thankfully, things really pick up near the end, with a couple of solid action sequences -- which would have been even better if it wasn't for director/cinematographer Andrew Lau's sometimes too-flashy camerawork. There's also a more traditional HK "downbeat" ending, at least when compared to the "happy" Hollywood-style stuff which seems to be favored lately. These things do come too little and too late to totally save the movie, but overall, Bullets of Love is a good, if unspectacular, action/romance film. It's nothing close to the classics from years past, but at least it doesn't make you want to tear your hair out like a lot of recent half-ass attempts at the genre.
Asaka Seto. Image courtesy of Deltamac.