Running Out of Time (1999) Chinese Movie Information
Title in Chinese – 暗战
Title in Pinyin – An Zhan
Genre – Thriller
Subject/theme – A criminal genius with terminal cancer plots revenge
Language – Cantonese
Region – Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong – 23 September 1999
Singapore – 30 September 1999
Malaysia – 4 November 1999
Germany – 28 September 2000
Director – Johnnie To
Cast & Role Played
Lau Ching-wan – Inspector Ho Sheung-san
Andy Lau – Cheung
Benz Hui – Chief Inspector Wong Kai-fat
Waise Lee – Baldy, crime boss
Lam Suet – Suet, Baldy’s henchman
Yoyo Mung – Leung Yuen Ting, girl on minibus
Chueng, a criminal genius learns he has terminal cancer with four weeks left to live so he starts to plan and execute the revenge of his father’s killer Baldy. Cheung cannot cause Baldy’s downfall alone so he robs a finance company and takes a manager captive to deliberately meet Ho who is a hostage negotiator. Ho becomes an unwilling participant in Cheung plan when Chueng promises him a 72 game and is allowed to escape by the bumbling inspector Wong.
Cheung’s health is deteriorating rapidly as he painstakingly puts the final pieces in place for Baldy’s demise. Ho is hot on his trail and develops a grudging admiration and friendship for Cheung. As the plot develops it becomes a race against time to see if Cheung can live long enough to complete his plan with Ho as his reluctant ally.
Editor’s Review of Running Out of Time – Score 7/10
The story for Running Out of Time is weak the character development for Cheung is limited and confusing. Lau Ching-wan and Andy Lau are charismatic, put on excellent performances and easily compensate for the movies shortcomings. The movie is fast paced, the sound track well chosen and the supporting cast are very good so the end result is a very enjoyable Johnnie To movie.