Tsui Hark is back, back, back! I, for one, am very happy that he’s returned to his old stomping ground after a sojourn in the US.
Time and Tide is a big departure from anything he has ever done but that’s not the real surprise – his films have always been incredibly varied. His resume reads like the lifetime work of several directors put together and the impressive fact is many of his films are considered modern HK classics; Peking Opera Blues, Zu Warriors from Magic Mountain, Once Upon A Time in China, A Chinese Ghost Story, The Lovers to name but a few.
HK film buffs will no doubt have one or more of his films in their Top 10 lists. Well, I’m adding Time and Tide into my Top 10. From its moody opening titles to the heartwrenching finale, I was engrossed, hooked, mesmerised by every frame. I couldn’t move even if I wanted to.
With Time and Tide, Tsui Hark has infused much needed creativity into what would be an otherwise average action flick into an energetic, heart palpitation inducing, gun-toting odyssey filled with spectacular brain churning imagery. All this literally explodes across the screen, set alight by the effervescent neon HK streets and rendered into your psyche with the help of a very tasty soundtrack courtesy of Wu Bai and Nicholas Tse [both are in the film].
The pace races along and the editing is manic, so fast it feels like the action is catching up with the camera and you, the audience, are hyperventilating in tune with it.
At some point in this review I’m suppose to tell you something about the plot. I’m not going to simply because you should find out for yourself and because the plot is somewhat irrelevant.
Some will argue that Time and Tide is only a well-made action flick but I’d like to believe there is much more to it. Tsui Hark has lifted Time and Tide into a realm of its own, injecting it with his personal touch. Simple and innovative nuances are peppered throughout the film and they have a rippling effect, often inciting astounding responses.