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Chungking Express [DVD] [1994] [1995]

46 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Faye Wong, Valerie Chow
  • Directors: Kar Wai Wong
  • Writers: Kar Wai Wong
  • Producers: Jeffrey Lau, Pui-Wah Chan, Yi-kan Chan
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Jun. 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001XLVZO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,496 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Wong Kar-Wai's celebrated portrait of neon-lit city populated by love-lorn cops, dangerous drug smugglers and California dreamers. The film comprises of two separate stories, the first of which features a cop (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who falls for a mysterious woman (Brigitte Lin) in a late night bar, little knowing that she is a big-time heroin smuggler. The second story features another cop (Tony Leung) who regularly visits a late night diner where he is served by a girl (Faye Wong) who has a huge crush on him; the girl then begins breaking into the cop's apartment, cleaning it for him, and adding little touches to help him get over the departure of his air-stewardess girlfriend.


Chungking Express tells two stories loosely connected by a Hong Kong snack bar. In one, a cop who's been recently dumped by his girlfriend becomes obsessed with the expiry dates on cans of pineapple; he's constantly distracted as he tries to track down a drug dealer in a blonde wig (played by Brigitte Lin, best known from Swordsman II and The Bride with White Hair). Meanwhile, another cop who's recently been dumped by his girlfriend (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, from John Woo's Hard-Boiled and A Bullet in the Head) mopes around his apartment, talking to his sponge and other domestic objects. He catches the eye of a shop girl (Hong Kong pop star Faye Wang) who secretly breaks in and cleans his apartment. If you're beginning to suspect that neither of these stories has a conventional plot, you're correct. What Chungking Express does have is loads of energy and a gorgeous visual style that never gets in the way of engaging with the charming characters. The film was shot on the fly by hip director Wong Kar-Wai (Happy Together, Ashes of Time), using only available lighting and found locations. The movie's loose, improvisational feel is closer to Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless than any recent film--and that's high praise. Quirky, funny, and extremely engaging, Chungking Express manages to be experimental and completely accessible at the same time. --Bret Fetzer, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: DVD
This 1994 film from ace Hong Kong film-maker Wong Kar-Wai is an amazing piece of cinema. Quite frankly, given the film's obvious nods to the 'video generation' of film-makers, it is something I might ordinarily detest, but somehow Wong has instead produced an enigmatic and poignant gem. In fact, despite the obvious qualities of much of Wong's other works, perhaps most notably 2000's In The Mood For Love, Chungking Express remains my personal favourite of his films.

Of course, the film (along with many others from this director) has been accused of being a representation of style over substance and, whilst I would agree his innovative style and approach is very much an acquired taste, the simple love stories at the heart of Chungking Express are, for me, brilliantly evocative and poignant, in this respect almost (but not quite) placing the film on a par with a masterpiece such as Jean Vigo's L'Atalante. The other outstanding feature of the film is the vibrant use of music (here featuring The Mamas And The Papas' California Dreamin and Faye Wong's brilliant cover of The Cranberries' Dreams, along with songs by Dennis Brown and Dinah Washington), making it along with Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland (featuring its Michael Nyman score), my favourite film/soundtrack combination of the last 20 years.

The narrative of Chungking Express (such as it is) follows two love stories - the first featuring Cop 223, the love-struck, but jilted, He Zhiwu, played with youthful innocence by Takeshi Kaneshiro, who happens upon a glamorous, sunglasses-wearing drug dealer and murderer, played with a sultry world-weariness by Brigitte Lin.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 4 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
Chungking Express is a film about time and coincidence... a continuation of the themes and images developed in the director's first masterpiece, Days Of Being Wild, and a precursor to the ideas and cinematic ideologies that will carry through to his greatest films, In The Mood For Love, and 2046. Unlike those two projects, which seem completely internal in the way in which they blur the emotional points-of-view of their characters - by slipping between the various narrative layers - the basic set-up here is simple... two Hong Kong cops, consumed by melancholic romanticism, wander through a labyrinthine city like Ghosts, haunted by their individual, though ultimately quite similar memories of lost love. Their paths cross on two separate occasions, but never intervene. Instead, the two stories are presented separately, one after the other, with each story presenting various echoes of a theme that ripples throughout.
The style of the film is very much indebted to the style of the French New Wave of the early 1960's, with Wong and cinematographer Christopher Doyle making great use of the available lighting and mobile, handheld cameras, to capture the action in a very fast, very kinetic kind of style. Thus, those only familiar with Wong's more recent films (which benefit from larger budgets and longer periods of production) might be surprised at how ramshackle and idiosyncratic this earlier work is... with Wong pretty much devising the whole film during a break in post-production on his epic historical piece, Ashes of Time, and apparently writing most of the scenes in the afternoons, then hitting the streets to film them that same night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Engel on 18 Oct. 2007
Format: DVD
This irresistibly enjoyable and untried Hong-Kong film directed by the ingenious Wong Kar-wai ultimately shows us that idealistic demands can be altered and routines can be broken. Its concern with time is in line with Wong Kar-wai's other films'. Its episodic style and intersecting plotlines are bound by coincidence--the character's chance meetings in the street--and relate in an abstract fashion. Faye, officer 663's love interest after his failed relationship with an air-hostess, ends up being the condensed embodiment of all the other women in the story. She works to mainstream music as the bargirl does, wears sunglasses and puts her hand to her chin like the drug-smuggling, murdering blonde and replaces the flight-attendant in 663's life, becoming one herself. The blonde is the most world-weary character, in contrast to the others' naivety. She becomes officer 223's love interest, after his unsuccessful affair with a girl named May, who we never actually see. The drug-lord and bar owner the blonde was mixed up with before meeting the lonely officer 223 is full of brutal sex appeal, which he trains on his voluptuous girlfriend (the bargirl mentioned earlier). Out of jealousy and anger, the blonde shoots him. Wong Kar-wai seems to be saying that rough sexuality is fruitless and ends in death, whereas a more patient, deep love comes rewarded through things sometimes as simple as 223's epiphany, in which the future seemed full of possibilities thanks to a woman's momentary kindness and the beauty of reminiscence. The film's symbolic obsession with expiry dates is very important in that it demonstrates a fear of change shared mainly by the two principal male characters.Read more ›
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