Bullets Of Love (2001)
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.