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Fallen Angels (1995)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 11,851

My Rating

Movie Info

Wong Kar-wai's Fallen Angels is a sequel of sorts to the director's 1994 U.S. breakthrough Chungking Express. Expanding on the latter's style, themes, and mood, Fallen Angels is set in the surreal milieu of urban, nighttime Hong Kong. As with the filmmaker's other features, plot takes a back seat to mood. The wisp of a narrative intercuts two story lines. The first follows a hitman (Leon Lai) who finds that the assassin's life has slowly lost its allure. Complicating his life is his beautiful

Unrated,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Kar-Wai Wong

Oct 12, 1999

Kino on Video

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (1) | DVD (6)

An exhilarating rush of a movie, with all manner of go-for-broke visual bravura that expresses perfectly the free spirits of [Wong's] bold young people.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I felt transported back to the 1960s films of Jean-Luc Godard. I was watching a film that was not afraid of its audience.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wong brings tremendous vigor and audacity to the effort, asking us to question the most basic rules of storytelling and commercial filmmaking.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A densely packed suite of zany vignettes that have the autonomy of pop songs or stand-up comic riffs.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is Wong's most visually striking, with Wong and Doyle constantly inventing intoxicating new angles for every shot.

October 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Photographed by expat Australian Christopher Doyle, Fallen Angels is cinematic exuberance in the hands of a confident filmmaker who builds a montage, and serves you a smorgasbord of images and characters that inhabit a world you are invited to experience.

December 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A brilliantly innovative filmmaker who gets his feelings across through the cheeky and sometimes surreal visuals and his cool style of filmmaking.

January 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Fallen Angels lunges and chases after its rapidly receding subjects, looking to capture and preserve a trace of their presence before the sun rises and the shadows fade.

February 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Stylish and mesmerizing... Equals the poignance of Chungking Express.

January 2, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

There's a lot more to Wong Kar-Wai than tremendous cinematic skill and distinctive style. He's got something to say about the modern condition.

October 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Like Wong's film stock, whose meager latitude won't let the eye deep into the image, Wong's characters, all 20-something slackers and grotesques, have the same lack of depth.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Comment (1)
Boxoffice Magazine

Fallen Angels is more challenging visually than any mainstream Hollywood film I've ever seen.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Aptly demonstrates [Wong's] unique, undecipherable charm.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Wong has used practically every cinematic element available to him to create a mood of love gone off the track, drawn-out wishes, time passing emptily, and disconnection.

January 1, 2000
Film Journal International

It has a life of its own, thanks to Wong's over-the-top blend of John Woo-like violence and almost surreal humor.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Fallen Angels

Netflix somni-bomb. All style, mood and colors. It literally took me three months to get through this frickin' movie because it kept putting me to sleep. So cool it's dead.
October 13, 2008
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

UPDATE: Just discovered that Fallen Angels is out on DVD and I can watch it. Will buy it soon and re-watch it and then re-review it........soon

Fallen Angels is the story of a professional killer in Hong Kong. It follows the in's and out's of his job and his partner in crime who he rarely sees. After 3 years of working together, he wants out. Another sub-plot is about a mute (caused by eating expired cans of pineapples for a month, after he was heart broken) who breaks into restaurants, cafés and ice-cream trucks at night and forces people to buy his goods!

Wong Kar Wai?s fifth directorial film in 1995 and which was originally meant to be part of Chung King Express was a good film but not great. For me it seems incoherent and the characters just don?t seem to be able to hold the narrative well as I thought. There great parts of the movie are as follows; the stunning cinematography done by frequent collaborator, Christopher Doyle really captures the mood of Hong Kong well and the themes brought up in the film. Such as alienation from others, which I believed that was shown well.

Once again, Wai leaves hints of trademarks around the mise-en-scne. For instance during the film, there are constant references to the weather, and how it?s raining. Which has been featured in Chungking, In The Mood For Love, Happy Together amongst his work. There are also subtle hints in the background, through radio and TV, which reflects Hong Kong?s news, which is currently going on. What is done well is the usage of language, we see the news in English, French and Mandarin of course- that reflects well the era in which it was done in. The camerawork is something, which I haven?t seen in his work before. The close-up camera work is effective and does make the audience understand the characters well and their thoughts and feelings. However, what also this creates is a colastrophic atmosphere that these alienated characters are finding themselves in most of the time and you do feel like you are intruding in their lives at times.

The narrative, as I stated before, is a little confusing. However the narrative with He Zhiwu I was able to understand. Once amusing scene was when he was massaging a pig, which probably fitted well with his character?s personality. He was a mute, but I felt more sympathy for him that the other characters within Fallen Angels. Perhaps the camera-work made the film, for me, seem a little slow-paced and out of sorts.

Overall, Fallen Angels is worth the watch but is not of of his better movies. For me Chungking, its predecessor is far superior and has that quirkiness about it, which you cannot not like. This, perhaps, is a darker versions of that and delves deeper into what really is going on in these disillusioned people. If you haven?t watch Wai?s excellent work, start with his most recent work as it?s far better. Fallen Angels is superior to Days of Being Wild and As Tears Go By
January 23, 2011
SarahG1988

Super Reviewer

Bleh, Wong Kar Wai...at least he had the decency to show Michelle Reis touching herself.
May 30, 2008
DragonEyeMorrison
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

Life, maybe, turns on coincidence or is directed by fate -- your choice -- or maybe not : ) Sometimes it seems as if we do live in a very small world, although sometimes it is so huge and impersonal that we don't even recognize our former lovers. This elastic size of the world can make love hard to find, and it can make it easy. If you find love, however, will it last? Love of family is the most stable kind of love, but even that cannot, in the world of the living, last forever. Another very bittersweet experience from Wong.
August 11, 2007
binky013

Super Reviewer

    1. Agent/Killer's boss: I'm about to leave. I ask him to take me home. I haven't ridden pillion for a long time nor have I been this close to a man in ages. The road home isn't very long, and I know I'll be getting off soon. But at this moment, I'm feeling such lovely warmth.
    – Submitted by Petra G (17 months ago)
    1. He Zhiwu: They say that love can change a man. I start to find myself looking better and more charming, and suddenly I discover that I'm turning blonde.
    – Submitted by Petra G (17 months ago)
    1. He Zhiwu: I have heard people say everything has its expiration date. I wasn't sure this would apply to her and johnny, but I thought it might soon.
    – Submitted by Paolo B (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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Foreign Titles

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