Bullets of Love (2001)

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 08/28/2011

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 09/14/2005
Summary: Just Doesn't Work

This movie is a total waste of time. I like Andrew Lau's other efforts, but he's failed here.

There's no chemistry between the two leads; the story is unbelieveable; there's no involvement with any of the supporting cast - I didn't care about any of them, they just take up space - as do the leads; the switch from the initial time/place to the village was annoyingly abrupt - I had no idea who these people were, what they were doing, or why I should care; it's very slow paced, which isn't a crime in itself, but this is boring slow.

I didn't really find anything redeeming in this. I bet Andrew Lau has already deleted it from his resume.

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 05/25/2005
Summary: Well made but routine

While the major turning points in this movie are obvious and can be seen a long time before they happen it is full of excellent performances and some well observed (although not original) characters.

With over thirty minutes left to run it is obvious how the movie must end so the bloody climax is not surprising but is still well done.

Supporting characters, especially Wai-Man Chan and Chi Hung Ng, are very well drawn and well acted. Asaka Seto is a beautiful woman and a decent actress. Wai Keung Lau is effecient and effective--he keeps things moving effeciently and knows the limitations of the script. For example the "band" is a bunch of amiable and slightly eccentric young men who who practice playing their instruments in a loft of the bar owned by Uncle Ox. They are in several of the the scenes that take place on Lamma Island and are onscreen enough to provide some local color and a bit of comic relief but not so much that they get annoying.

A well made but routine action movie.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 05/07/2005
Summary: Director had a good time shooting this film.

This 'small' movie from cinematographer/director Lau was quite enjoyable. After directing some huge CGI-filled action movies like The Duel, I think Lau had a good time shooting this film. The camera work is great and he got some real fun performances from his cast. The first 30 minutes of the film are fantastic, riveting. The screenplay tries some cool twists with the conventions of the Hong Kong "Hot as Ice" female assassin genre with varying degrees of success. While I understand the importance of the foriegn markets and the box office revenue generated, I think this might have been a better flick if they had cast any one of many Hong Kong actress's who could've done the role. This one has a real nasty, vicious bad guy [Yin], but the best performance comes from the always interesting, unique Ng Chi Hung.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/18/2003

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.

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.

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/14/2002

As the last reviewers said, this is dull and boring, from start to finish. But Terence Yin is very good in this, and out-shines Leon Lai.

Rating: 1.5/5

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/13/2002
Summary: Agree with grimes

I agree with everything grimes said but i thought it was predictable!! There isn't too much action in it either, so don't expect a action packed movie.

Dull, and to watch only if your bored. Starts off well though.......


Reviewed by: grimes
Date: 02/18/2002
Summary: No strong feelings

I found this film rather dull and unpredictable, with mostly uninteresting performances from the leads.

My favorite parts were with some of the minor characters, Uncle Ox and Uncle Tiger, who were far more animated and interesting than anyone else in the film. Of course, most plants are more animated than Leon Lai.

I wouldn't recommend this unless you're bored and there's nothing better to do.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 02/18/2002
Summary: Surprisingly good movie

Quite a small scale movie from Andrew Lau - no cast of hundreds, no CGI spectacles, just a good cast of characters and a strong story released without fanfare or hype. Perhaps he's trying to get back to his roots or something, although I don't remember his roots being anything like this.

Bullets Of Love clearly takes its cue from SHIRI, starting off like an action movie then thumbing its nose and turning into a love story for an hour, before twisting back and presenting a nice action-based final reel. It doesn't have the production values of SHIRI, but I think it was in many ways better developed. Leon Lai is pretty good in the movie, and has a good cast of supporting characters too, including the always welcome Michael Chan. The movie is really held together by the excellent performance of Asako Seto though, who really gives her all to her role(s). A real pleasure to watch. Terence Yin puts his natural foulness to good use with another skin-crawling performance, thankfully getting only as much screen time as necessary for the plot.

With Andrew Lau as director and principle DOP, the movie does of course look good. The 'edgy' editing is a little bit unnecessary at times though, as if they were determined to cut shots at the most unexpected and intrusive moments. Trying to be modern & stylish I guess, but a little more restraint would have worked better.

There's not an awful lot of action in the movie, but the scenes are well filmed when they occur, and quite bloody. Thanks to the romantic/dramatic elements being well developed, you do have quite a bit of genuine interest in the outcome of the action too.

Overall, the movie is not as glossy as SHIRI, but nor is it as shallow. There's a few plot holes and nonsenses, but that's to be expected isn't it? Overall I'd still rate it as one of the better movies to come out of the HKSAR recently.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/03/2002

The film starts with a pretty intense assassination scene that establishes two things right away: unlike recent examples like FTK, this time we're in the "female assassin" subgenre, and secondly, this particular killer has a rather nasty way of killing (using a trademark 3 shots that let the victim stay conscious during their last moments).

I like female assassin movies, even though most of them follow rather predictable conventions. Bullets of Love, however, does manage to offer a few new twists and turns, making this an all around enjoyable offering. It's the story of Sam, played by Leon Lai with his usual stoicism, who is pursuing a rather nasty criminal played with gusto by Terence Yin, who makes good use of his natural repulsiveness... The first twenty minutes of the movie are mainly action, until Terence is finally apprehended and put behind bars. Sam decides to celebrate by travelling to Paris with his fiancee (played by a dubbed Japanese actress). Unbeknownst to them, they have a female killer shadowing them - a killer working for Terence and ready to take revenge.

<---Spoiler warning: The following paragraph reveals a couple of minor plot points, but nothing major - don't read any further if you would rather not know--->

The killer (who has developed some feelings for Sam) eventually shoots his fiancee and she dies a horrible death.
The movie then cuts to a year later, Sam has left the force and settled into a quiet life in a small fishing village. It is here that he one day runs into a woman who looks exactly like his dead fiancee...

During its middle part, the film starts to drift a little bit with what seems like unnecessary subplots, but it never gets boring, and towards the end it picks up the pace again and ends with some more exciting action. I liked everything about this movie - it felt fresh (even though everything was pretty predictable), and the actors performed well, in particular the Japanese actress who played a dual role as Sam's fiancee (dubbed) and a Japanese doppelganger (her real voice). By the time the inevitable end comes, you care enough about her character for it to matter.

I do recommend this film. The DVD is bare-bones, but presentable (although 5.1 soundtrack would have been nice).