This is Wong Kar Wai's debut feature, his first jump from scriptwriting to film-making, and in the wonderful career of WKW seems to serve only as a tester round for the studio to judge if he's capable of directing. Yes Wong was capable of directing, but the film seems a huge leap from the classics he would start to make from 1990's 'Days of Being Wild'. 'As Tears Go By' tells a routine gangster story, seemingly influenced by Scorsese's 'Mean Streets', with what would become Wong's trademark style. It is wonderfully photographed by future director Andrew Lau (who also co-photographed Wong's 'Chungking Express'), but the plotting seems lazy and contrived, Hong Kong films have told gangster stories like this many a time, which only leaves the style to elevate it above the rest. There is no problem with the acting of course and the always reliable Jacky Cheung makes the most of a crazy role made to measure, whilst Maggie Cheung and Andy Lau also turn in good performances, whilst also marking territory for they're characters relationships in 'Days Of Being Wild'. Wong's famous use of repetition of music is also applied here, but my God this time we wish it didn't, and 'As Tears Go By' is guilt showcasing one of the worst soundtracks I've heard. Whilst 'As Tears Go By' is not really considered a Wong Kar Wai film like all his future films, it definitely serves it's purpose as a forerunner to Wong's future style of film-making, and is a noble attempt at trying to pushing 80's HK heroic bloodshed in a different direction. Recommend only for the Wong completest, this might not serve as a great introduction to the skill and seduction of Wong's later masterpieces.