Johnnie ToHong Kong88 minutes2003ColourCantonese
The almost 20-year partnership of Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai has produced films of flamboyant visual appeal and ambitious philosophical weight, a mode far different from To's structured minimalism. Running on Karma is the duo's masterpiece, a romantic action-fantasy-tragedy with no counterpart in To's (or anyone else's) work. The scenario virtually defies summary: suffice to say that an Indian escape artist/assassin is apprehended in Hong Kong by Da Chek Lo, an ex-monk turned body builder turned male stripper (Andy Lau, encased in a muscle suit, gives one of his most glorious performances), leading to a dark, picaresque set of adventures with a young detective (Cecilia Cheung), involving murders, magic, dismemberment, and the mystical force of Buddhist reincarnation. "A magnificently wild genre-bender" (Christoph Huber, Cinema Scope).