video cover

One Night: Choice of Evil
2010; directed by Tommy Yu

This independent Taiwanese comedy/drama has a unique premise and show a lot of promise, but ultimately, its' low budget and the inexperience of the director shows through, making this more of an interesting exercise rather than a full-fledged motion picture, though it is still worth checking out if you want to see a different take on the Asian gangster genre.

As the title infers, the movie takes place during one night, where a group of gangsters are meeting at a restaurant in order to determine who their new leader is. The initial ending carries out that nothing has changed within the gang and that they are doomed to repeat their old mistakes. I say "initial" ending there, because the film tells the story in an unconventional manner, with a series of re-boots where the changing of the actions of one of the characters alters the outcome of the story.

One Night: Choice of Evil

Yes, this is gimmicky film-making, which is brought out even further by using techniques more suitable for cartoons or manga. Some of this was probably employed to cover up the low budget nature of the movie, which was shot on digital video. And at times, director Tommy Yu does go overboard with the quirky effects, resulting in some scenes that come off like self-important film student arthouse wannabe twaddle than the creation of an actual cohesive scene held inside of a motion picture.

Still, despite its' problems and the whole somewhat amateurish nature of the production, there is still enough fun to be had with One Night: Choice of Evil that it at least warrants a mild recommendation, especially if you enjoy the quirkier side of Asian gangster cinema, such as the films of Johnnie To. Even though this movie comes nowhere close to the level of To's output, at least the film-makers here were trying to do something a little different, and they, at the very least, should be recognized for that, especially in this day and age, where many releases come off like cookie cutter clones rushed out to make a quick buck.


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