Sunday, March 28, 2010

Running on Karma (2003)

When I saw this film the first time I was left sitting slack jawed and wondering what in the hell these people were smoking or ingesting when they made this off kilter little film. To say that this film is unique is an understatement.

In all honesty there is no really way to full explain or discuss this film, you really have to see it. With that in mind I'm going to make a stab at trying to give you an idea of the plot, but even so I know I'm leaving out a few twists: A body building ex-monk who dances as a male stripper and who can see the future gets mixed up with a police woman going after a killer. Mix in some laughs, comic book villains, some very bloody deaths, some serious action, discussions of the nature of the universe and predestination; shake well and perhaps, just perhaps you may get an idea of what this film by Ka-Fai Wai and Johnnie To is like. Then again you may not since this film operates in its own orbit, going from pillar to post on its own crazy course. I don't think I had any moment where I really knew what was coming next.

Say what you will about the plot elements but on its own terms it's a great deal of fun. In its way its a more sedate version of the "crazy" films people think are the norm in Asia cinemas.

The nice thing here is that while problem with the film is thats so incredibly quirky that it never really seems to pull it all together, it doesn't matter. Under normal circumstances not pulling it all together will kill a film, but here you don't really mind simply because its not only being different from pretty much any other film ever made, it's also being very entertaining. Just don't watch this when you're looking for a movie that makes perfect sense.

I would love to say more about this film, but I really can't. This is one of those movies that you just have to take it on faith that is worth your time. If you want to see a movie thats certainly unlike any other film out there, this film is for you. But be warned its bumpy and imperfect and you may hate yourself for liking it in the morning.

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