A World Without Thieves

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  • 2004
  • 1 hr 53 min
  • 7.2  (5,472)

A World Without Thieves is a Chinese action-comedy film released in 2004 that was written and directed by Feng Xiaogang. The movie stars Andy Lau, Rene Liu, Baoqiang Wang, and Ge You in lead roles. It revolves around two thieves, Wang Bo played by Andy Lau and Wang Li played by Rene Liu who are on a mission to protect a young couple's savings during their journey from Beijing to Guangzhou. The movie combines humour, thrilling action sequences, and a beautiful scenery that depicts the rural Chinese villages.

The film follows the story of two skilled thieves who are after the young couple, who carry a large sum of money with them. The thieves are on a mission to steal their entire wealth, but they quickly learn that the couple's savings represent their entire life's earnings. The couple, who appear to be naive in their ways, are the only source of livelihood to their families and wish to use the money to fund a rice mill business. The two thieves are forced to question their morality, as they start believing that they should do the right thing and protect the couple's savings.

The plot thickens when the two thieves encounter a young vagabond named Sha Gen played by Baoqiang Wang, who is also after the couple's money. What follows is a breathtaking competition to see who can steal the money first. The three culprits follow the young couple onto the train disguised as passengers. The situational comedy kicks in when the money is stolen and the cops on the train are made aware of the crime. The cops who suspect everyone on the train including the couple, the thieves, and the vagabond, add an added layer of suspense to the film.

Director Feng Xiaogang uses the beauty of China's landscape to his advantage, showcasing some stunning views of the country's scenic countryside. The film primarily takes place on a train, which creates a claustrophobic environment, increasing tension and suspense in the film. One of the highlights of the movie is the action-packed train chase sequence that takes place on top of the train. The chase sequence brings together the entire cast in a thrilling action-comedy scene that defines the movie.

The performances of the lead cast are exceptional, especially Andy Lau and Rene Liu, who bring life to their characters. Andy Lau's character, Wang Bo, is a determined thief who is willing to do anything to get what he wants. Rene Liu's Wang Li, the more sensible thief of the two, provides an equal balance to Wang Bo's over-the-top personality. Baoqiang Wang's comedic and endearing portrayal of Sha Gen, provides perfect balance to the tense and thrilling action scenes.

At its core, A World Without Thieves is a thrilling, suspenseful, and action-packed movie with enough comedy to keep the audience entertained throughout. The film is about redemption, morality, and the rights and wrongs of stealing. It's about the power of money and how it can change people's morals and beliefs. In a world where money is everything, the movie asks the question, is it worth risking everything to steal it?

The film is known for its sweeping shots of rural China and its visually stunning action sequences. It was a commercial and critical success upon its release and is considered as one of the greatest Chinese heist films ever made. The movie was also nominated for several awards, including multiple Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Horse Awards. A World Without Thieves is a must-watch and set the benchmark for future heist films in China.

A World Without Thieves
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 53 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (5,472)