Friday, 7 September 2007

The Odd One Dies (1997)

Chinese title: Only One Out of Two Will Live (两个只能活一个).

The English title translation sounds odd, but the Chinese title makes more sense, and sheds more light into the story.

The Odd One Dies (1997)
Patrick Yau Tat-Chi started his career working for TVB, and moved onto working for Johnnie To as assistant director. He left TVB to make this 3 solid, and entertaining crime flicks in barely over 1 year. It's pity that he haven't made anything similar since. In fact, his output has been dwindling to zero since this trio of gems: The Odd One Dies (1997), The Longest Nite (1998), Expect the Unexpected (1998). He has gone back to directing TV series, and left a nice footprint on the HK crime genre scene.

The trio are characterised as film noir (or more correctly called neo-noir) with graphic violence, bleakness, and hardboiled cruelty and brutality. Another thing that these 3 films have in common is that they were all produced by, not surprisingly, Johnnie To and his partner in crime flicks making, Wai Ka-Fai. Last, but least of the commonality is the keen exploitation of plot twists to spice up the stories. Especially for the latest, which is appropriately titled Expect the Unexpected (1998). Another thing we didn't expect was the suddenness of his departure from making movies.

Having pointed out the similarities, this movie is actually quite different from the later 2 which are more similar to each other). For 1 thing, it has more comedy, even if the comedy is dry and dark. As such, the comedy isn't even recognised as IMDB genre classification only mentions Crime and Drama. 2ndly, it also has more romance than the other 2. This is perhaps the choice of Kaneshiro as the male lead.

Fun Facts:
Kaneshiro has been labelled as the Asian Johnny Depp. It isn't hard to it in this movie with his reticent coolness, and also their choices of quirky films to play in.


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