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Rating:

5


Year of release: 2001

Company: Milkyway

Genre: action/drama

Running time: 95 min.

Directors: Johnnie To, Law Wing-Cheong

Script: Yau Nai-Hoi, Au Kin Yee, Milkyway Creative Team

Producer: Johnnie To

Stars: Lau Ching-Wan, Ekin Cheng, Kelly Lin, Lam Suet, Ruby Wong

Rated IIA for mild violence and language


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Lau Ching-Wan biography
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Running Out of Time 2

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In this sequel to the popular Milkyway movie, Lau Ching-Wan returns as a beleagured cop, who once again must engage in a game of cat and mouse with a thief, this time Ekin Cheng. Ekin has stolen some valuable pieces of art from Kelly Lin's company, and she must get them back before she can merge with another company, and so it's up to Lau to get the pieces back.

There are a couple of sub-plots thrown into the mix (most notably one with Lam Suet and his gambling problems), but mostly Running Out of Time 2 is one long chase scene, and that is its' main problem. The chase scenes just aren't exciting. One involves Lau and Kelly going after a badly animated CGI eagle, and another has Lau and Ekin engaging in what has to be the world's worst bicycle race.

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While Running Out of Time 2 gets by on a lot of charm -- Lau Ching-Wan is his usual intense self, Ekin Cheng turns in a surprisingly good performance and Lam Suet offers good comic relief along with some pathos -- it's not enough to make the film anything other than average. It should tell you something that even Ekin Cheng's huge star power and Johnnie To's critical adoration failed to give Running Out of Time 2 any impact at the box office.

Most damningly, there really seems to be no motivation for the characters to be engaged in this somewhat ridiculous overlong chase. While Ekin does well, he fails to provide a credible villain to Lau to compete with. Perhaps most of the blame should be put on the lackluster script. It really lacks that tight pacing and snappy dialogue that viewers have come to expect from Milkyway films, and Johnnie To in particular.

Running Out of Time 2 felt like it had the basis to be a good movie, but it really manages to go nowhere during its' running time, and, as such is really only recommended is you're a huge Lau Ching-Wan, Ekin Cheng or Johnnie To fan.

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