Friday, September 27, 2019

The Wild Goose Lake (2019) NYFF 2019

Chinese neo- noir about a gangster who is hunted by authorities for killing a cop. Knowing his days are numbered he tries to arrange it so his estranged wife and son can get the reward, but the cops and his associates have other ideas.

Form over content thriller would have overcome all its short comings if only someone had trimmed this by twenty minutes. There is a great story here done in numerous rambling sequences where people wander around and walk and sit and nothing much happens. While the long sequences allow us to get a slightly better sense of the place and some characters it also gives us time to think about how chunks of this make no sense. Its around about plot where the most of characters are cut outs being moved around just to keep things going.  Worse it's not always easy to keep track as to who is who and it kind of becomes a relief when the cops start to wear motorcycle helmets.

On the other hand the action sequences, the decapitation, the umbrella fight,  are kick ass. The final sequence in this film is a real grabber and it singlehandedly makes this film a recommended one

To be honest, while I have reservations about the pacing of the film it is still a gripping one. That aid I suspect that THE WILD GOOSE LAKE is at the wrong festival. This is a film that shouldn't be at some thing like NYFF but instead the New York Asian Film Festival. I say this because there seemed to be a sense at the screening I attended that NYFF is the wrong audience since people who don't go to NYAFF or aren't familiar with Asian cinema really didn't like it.

Recommended for Asian film fans

THE WILD GOOSE LAKE plays September 29 and October 1 at NYFF. For more information and tickets go here.

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