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Review: Life Without Principle

Johnnie To's latest film
By BRETT MICHEL  |  March 13, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars

Johnnie To's latest opens as Chinese police arrive at a crime scene, portending his usual slice of bloody action. But despite the bursts of violence, the most intense scenes come as a result of a massive stock market upheaval that deeply affects the three protagonists and their parallel, sometimes awkwardly intertwining storylines. You might be surprised at who bends, breaks, or in some cases upholds morals in this dramatic comedy of human greed. The players include Teresa (Denise Ho), the worst-performing investment manager at her bank, who is left sitting on $5 million in cash when a loan shark is mugged and killed before he can complete a deposit; Panther (Ching Wan Lau), a low-level gangster who grovels for cash to bail out the black sheep of his mob family; and Cheung (Richie Ren), a police inspector forced to cater to his fiancée's demands for an apartment that's beyond their means. It's a dark tale for our times.

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 See all articles by: BRETT MICHEL