We’re kicking off Giving Tuesday early this year! Your donation today will be matched up to $10K, doubling your impact! If you donate $50 today, the Reader will receive $100.
The Reader is now a community-funded nonprofit newsroom. Can we count on your support to help keep us publishing?
Tough guys double-cross each other and then cry about it in this gangster weepie from Taiwan (2010). Promising early scenes track the rise of five teenagers through the local underworld of the 1980s, the zippy, playful tone occasionally suggesting A Hard Day’s Night crossed with the yakuza movies of Kinji Fukasaku. However, actor-turned-director Niu Doze (who also plays a gang boss) never sustains one style for very long, and the movie’s quality at any given moment depends on which film or filmmaker he’s aping, and how well. The result is jarringly uneven, veering from understatement to hysterics and from visual flatness to colorful abstraction, but buried in here are at least 40 minutes of a very good movie. In Taiwanese and Mandarin with subtitles.