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  • Johnny To and Lau Ching-wan have created some of the finest Hong Kong films of the last 5 or 6 years. This list includes such well-known films as "A Hero Never Dies," "Lifeline," and "Running out of Time." "Loving You" was made in 1995, prior to the emergence of both artists as icons of the Hong Kong crime dramas of the late 1990's. I was very interested in watching this early collaboration, in hopes of seeing glimpses of the greatness that was to come. I am glad to report that the film did not disappoint me. Lau stars as a cop who is dedicated to his job, but is a pretty rotten human being. He cheats on his wife, and doesn't show any sympathy or kindness to those around him. This all changes when he is shot in the head by a rather vicious drug-dealer. I guess a near-death experience had quite an effect on him, and he spends the rest of the film trying to make up for past wrongs. Much of my enjoyment of the film comes from Lau's excellent performance. The film's direction does not show a lot of the style that would bring Johnny To to the forefront of the Hong Kong action genre, but the action scenes are done well. With actors like Lau and the beautiful Carman Lee (from "Lifeline"), the dramatic scenes are also quite touching. The only thing that I did not really like were the sappy love songs that were in the film. I can usually handle one sappy love song, but this film had three. Aside from that minor complaint, I thoroughly enjoyed the film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    LOVING YOU is an early effort for Hong Kong director Johnnie To, an unwieldy combination of romantic melodrama and cop thriller. I'm a fan of the latter genre, but the thriller elements here never have much time to develop and the bad guy in particular lacks the kind of screen presence you'd expect from such a movie. Popular actor Lau Ching Wan plays an unlikeable cop who mistreats his wife, causing her to leave him. He's later ambushed and left for dead, so she comes back to look after him. That's all the story you're getting. There's some evidence of style in To's photography but overall this is a slow-moving and oddly uninvolving film.