Saturday, May 4, 2013

One Last Dance (2006)

As I'm writing this review I keep asking myself, "Why should I like this film?" The plot line is hopelessly jumbled, the humor awkwardly rendered, some of the characters are just plain annoying, and the action leaves much to be desired. When looked at from a rational perspective, this film is a mess... but, it's a strangely compelling and enjoyable mess.

Featuring a Chinese and American Cast, a Brazilian Director (Max Makowski), and shot on location in Singapore, One Last Dance is the story of a kidnapping gone wrong. "T" (deliciously portrayed by Francis Ng), is a hit-man who is assigned to take out a gang of thugs lead by Ko (played annoyingly by Joseph Quek) who have kidnapped a tycoon's son. T is given his marks through small red envelopes called "lisees" which contain the name(s) of his next victim. Along the way T falls for the beautiful Mae (Vivian Hsu in a thankless role), not knowing she's the sister of Ko. When Ko's name shows up in one of T's Lisees, T faces a hard decision.

To be sure there are a lot of things to like about One Last Dance. Francis Ng is mesmerizing as the disenchanted hit-man and helps save this production from its numerous faults. Harvey Keitel is good even though he's not given much to do. Also of note in a positive light, is the film's cinematography and soundtrack, competently filmed and masterfully scored, featuring Pakk Hui's amazing song "Broken Orange" (seriously the song is worth watching the film alone) which nestles its way inside your brain and refuses to come out for days.

On the negative side, the film's humor is uneven and often irritating. One wishes they focused more on Francis Ng's character other than Joseph Quek, who attempts to provide the film with a dose of humor but misses the mark more often than not. Another annoyance is the films use of computer generated blood, which quite simply, looks terrible. Not to mention the irregular plot. I know this film is meant to be "pieces of a puzzle" and as much as I admire the ambitious attempt it seems to needlessly clutter the production. Most people will need a second viewing to pick through all the overlapping and seemingly unrelated scenes to piece together the time line and plot.

Bottom Line -For all of it's faults though, I still came away liking One Last Dance. It's definitely an original piece of work that's entertaining, and features some scenes of true cinematic beauty. I just wished it was a better film. 6.5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment