(In theaters, August 2001) My expectations were probably set a touch too high for this film. I should have been happy just to see a recent Hong Kong actioneer on a big theater screen. What I got was fine enough to keep me interested, though not overwhelmingly impressive. It’s as if the movie works extra-hard not to make us care about the pathetic protagonist and the lesbian policewoman (!) he accidentally sleeps with (!) and makes pregnant (!!!). It’s when watching things like that that you really start bitching about the sad state of screenwriting around the globe. The storytelling is so chaotic that you’ll understand what’s going on maybe five minutes later. There are a few action scenes, but nothing truly new or exceptional; just people shooting at each other. Fortunately, we eventually get the exceptional apartment fight (with a wonderful canyon-like urban environment, used to maximum effect), a good airport sequence and an over-the-top scene mixing gunfights and childbirth that relegates Hard-Boiled‘s finale to the rank of amateur in attempted audience manipulation. (Waah! One life begins! Bang! One life ends!) I give it a solidly mixed review.