4 July 2000 | johnrlewis
This is a great offbeat action-drama/romance.
This is actor/director Patrick Yau's first film to direct, and it is surprisingly good. He is certainly one of the most interesting and innovative action directors working in Hong Kong during the past few years. If you like this one, check out his other two films: Expect the Unexpected, and The Longest Night. In this movie (The Odd One Dies), Takeshi Kaneshiro is at his grungiest best as a lowlevel street punk with a real bad gambling habit, and a tendency to get the crap beat out of him by those higher up on the food chain. To raise some much-needed money, he accepts a $12,000 contract to kill someone. The night before the hit, he takes his deposit money and plays like a high roller in a game of blackjack, which he eventually wins big in. Because of the type of person he is "working" for, he is committed to do the job or die trying, so he decides to hire another hit man to do the job for him. The killer he ends up hiring is a woman, and she seems to be in worse shape than him (as far as being a general lowlife loser goes). He tries to help her out, and they end up getting romantically involved on the side. In the process of all this, he stumbles upon an understanding of the meanings of life and mercy, and more or less cures himself of his sociopathic mindset by becoming a sympathetic person toward those around him. This results in a major change in their attitudes, in that those same people (both bad ones and good ones) begin to like him instead of wanting to kill or kick him around. But there isn't too much moralizing. This is a great offbeat action-drama, and worth a repeat viewing. Even the music soundtrack features some pretty good light jazz/rock. I've enjoyed Takeshi Kaneshiro's work in other movies, but this is the first one that made me realize what a really good actor he is.