Fallen Angels

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 19


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,227
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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 contact (Michele Reis, a former Miss Hong Kong winner) who pines after him with fetishistic ardor, although the two have never met in their nearly three-year partnership. In another part of the city, He (Takeshi Kaneshiro), a mute, boyish ex-convict, makes a living by sneaking into and running businesses after hours. Still living with his father who runs the Chungking Mansions hotel, the restless Ho falls for Cherry (Charlie Yeung), a woman getting over her breakup with the offscreen Johnny. The movie follows these episodic romances almost half-heartedly as with Wong's other films, and digressionary moments attract much of the camera's distracted gaze. This visually stylish and unabashedly effusive work is considered by some critics to be the quintessential Wong film.

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Leon Lai
as Wong Chi-Ming
Michelle Reis
as Killer's Agent
Chen Wan-lei
as He Zhiwu's Father
Karen Mok
as Blondie
Fai-hung Chan
as Man Forced to Eat Ice Cream
Kwan Lee-Na
as Woman Pressed to Buy Vegetables
Wu Yuk-Ho
as Man Forced to Have His Clothes Washed
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Critic Reviews for Fallen Angels

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (5)

Audience Reviews for Fallen Angels

  • Nov 25, 2011
    Surreal visuals and humor keep this aimless movie from feeling like an exercise in futility. This feels like a movie that was shot between a group of friends on a weekend and that's not necessarily a bad thing. But there was no real semblance of plot, it really is a visually driven movie. But since it's been almost 17 years since this film's release, it probably doesn't stand the test of time visually. One thing I liked about the movie was that it had a sense of confidence about its style. It didn't give a fuck that there was no story to speak of and it wasn't going to fit within the parameters of what people believe a movie should be, and that takes a lot of balls, because this isn't exactly the easiest movie to sit through, especially some parts in the middle. It takes a certain mindset to enjoy. It's not a movie I'd recommend to everybody, but I did like it.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 10, 2011
    Amazing direction by Wong Kar-wai and a film flooding to the brim with emotional pull and humanity, Fallen Angels is another great film in his repertoire. Shot with many effects and filming styles, the film literally portrays a moving city and those in it in such a surreal and exciting way. With the many references to Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express(1994), this makes a wonderful companion piece to that particular film but thoroughly remains its own distinctively original story arc and characters. If you haven't checked out Wong Kar-wai yet or any of his films, Fallen Angels, Chungking Express (1994), In the Mood for Love (2000), or Happy Together(1997) are all released on Blu-ray, and you should rent or watch one to get a taste of his visual style. The first three have excellent Criterion Collection releases and Kino gives a solid job with Happy Together so if you like one you will likely find the others very intriguing and unique works as well!
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2010
    I tried IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, and then 2046 and now FALLEN ANGELS and they're all "all style, and no substance" and boring as hell. No more Kar Wai Wong romantic coupling films for me. ASHES OF TIME REDUX is great though.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2009
    I'm not really sure what to make of this movie. It was energetic, but not very entertaining. It was stylish, but not substantial. The girl (Michelle Reis) was really hot, but the look of the film was quite ugly. The point of this film wasn't supposed to be the story (there's really no narrative, which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but it was obviously supposed to be a new-wave 90's artistic visual statement. The only problem is that I didn't like looking at it.
    Jared H Super Reviewer

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