Wong Kar Wai’s reworking of his sole martial arts film improves on the original.
Screened to considerable interest at Cannes, Wong Kar Wai’s reworking of his sole martial arts film improves on the original.
Loosely inspired by Louis Cha’s four-volume The Eagle Shooting Heroes, the director of 2046 takes us to ancient China and the edge of a vast desert where swordsman Ouyang Feng (Leslie Cheung) lives the life of a vagabond, earning his livelihood by hiring others as assassins. Pitiless and cynical, his heart has long been wounded by a love he neglected then lost. But with the passing of the seasons he begins to reflect upon the origin of his solitude.
Intended as the definitive version of a work widely written about but rarely seen, Kar Wai is able to invest the project with a clarity of vision and technical precision lacking from the original. A major addition to one of the finest bodies of work in modern cinema, Ashes of Time Redux also exorcises the memory of the disappointing My Blueberry Nights.