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Time and Tide (Seunlau ngaklau) (2000)

  Directed by: Hark Tsui
Written by: Koan Hui, Hark Tsui
Starring: Wu Bai, Couto Remotigue Jr., Nicholas Tse, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang
Links: Time and Tide on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 10.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Woman in labour + gun = bad idea!" - a review by timchuma

Tyler is a barman who likes to hit on the women in the bar where he works. He sees an opportunity when a woman has a fight with her girlfriend and he offers to drink her under the table.

After a heavy session (including redecorating passing traffic over the wall), they both end up at Tyler's place. The next morning when the woman gets up to go to the dunny, Tyler quickly puts his undies on so she won't suspect everything. While doing so, he finds her Police ID and she comes back and slaps him around a bit, trying to get him to tell her if they had sex or not.

9 months later, Tyler manages to track down the woman, who is heavily pregnant. She doesn't want to have anything to do with him however (he also got beat up by the woman's ex into the bargain).

As he wants to go on a trip and to provide money for his estranged lover's baby, he decides to work for his Uncle's not-quite-legal bodyguard business. One client they get is a mad woman who yacks constantly. Much to his disgust, Tyler has been given the job of driving her to the airport, so he does just that - backwards at high speed.

On the other side of the world, in a grimy security vault in South America, a heavily armed police unit arrives carrying gold bullion whilst a storm rages.

The leader of the group is just about to hand over the strong box when he notices the attendant has long hair. He warns his men that it is a set-up.

Of course, all the police are slaughtered as the people who ambushed them are hardened mercenaries trained to do well against regular forces. Their leader is a bloke with cool dreads (we don't get to hear his name, so I'll just call him 'Dread Dude').

Back in Hong Kong, Tyler is assigned by his uncle to protect a rich client at his birthday party. The other bodyguards and his uncle are all on edge as they have inside information that a hit is planned on their client.

The bodyguards catch a suspect, but they let him go again when their source rings again to tell them the hit is off (he is being threatened with hedge trimmers at the time. Oww!).

Tyler suspects something when he sees the man they released rushing off, so he chases him. He ends up having a fight with him and his accomplice (who loses part of his ear due to a bullet and also falls down the stairs with Tyler).

One of the guests who saw him rushing off, Jack (the husband of one of the client's daughters), comes to check on Tyler after he is chewed out by his uncle.

Tyler repays his kindness by offering him a lift home and goes to see him the next day to talk about a business deal (he has to leave sharpish when the man he fought with the night before turns up).

Later, DD and the others turn up at the airport to meet their boss and have a confrontation with Jack, who they suspect betrayed them. DD doesn't like Hong Kong and calls it 'Cockroach City'.

After the stuff-up at their last job, Tyler's uncle is anxious to get it right for their next client which, surprise surprise, turns out to be the boss of the mercenaries.

Things being what they are, you can tell something is going to go wrong, which it does, in a tense and exciting sequence where Jack tries to escape the hotel first in a car, then down the side of the building with the aid of a fire hose, and landing on a freeway while being pursued by DD.

After what happened to their client, Tyler's Uncle gets into trouble with the police and Tyler gets taken in for questioning. His estranged lover tries to bail him out, but she doesn't have enough money (Tyler has been trying to give her money by pushing it under the door of her flat).

His uncle is understandably pissed off at him and locks him in a shipping container to teach him a lesson. After this, Tyler decides to try and track down Jack.

He is not the only one looking for Jack however, all the mercenaries are too, and have staked out his apartment with snipers covering the window, a man inside and the others stalking him inside the apartment block. What they don't know, however, is that Jack has his sights trained on them from an adjacent rooftop.

Into the middle of all this walks Tyler and DD decides to act. Cue the 'OH MY GOD!' sequence - abseiling down the side of the building with machine guns blazing, Tyler being thrown around the room fighting, many people being shot and finally Tyler being told to hide in the fridge by Jack as he is locked in the apartment that is rapidly filling with gas and rigged to explode.

Before he left to face his former partners, Jack told his wife to go to Kowloon Station after he leaves. She does so, but she is also followed by Tyler and the surviving mercenaries...

To paraphrase Keanu Reeves in The Matrix (1999) - "Whoa!" - More than "Whoa!" - "OH MY @#$%ING GOD!!" "UNBELIEVABLE!" Yes, some sequences did borrow from The Matrix, but remember where the style originated in the first place. On second thoughts, forget that, this film laughs at your pissy The Matrix - HAHAHAHAHA!!

I really think that this movie could easily topple Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) in the popularity stakes if it was to gain general release - it's that good.

timchuma gives this movie 10 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 22 Feb 2005

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