Running Out of Time

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"Let the games begin."
  • NR
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 7.3  (6,353)

Running Out of Time is a 1999 Hong Kong action thriller directed by Johnnie To and starring Andy Lau, Ching Wan Lau, and YoYo Mung. The movie tells the story of international criminal Cheung (played by Andy Lau) who masterminds a daring robbery of a valuable diamond. As he attempts to evade the police and escape with the diamond, he crosses paths with police inspector Ho (played by Ching Wan Lau), who is tasked with bringing Cheung to justice.

The film opens with Cheung visiting a doctor at a hospital, where he learns he has only a few weeks left to live due to a terminal illness. This news propels him to mastermind a daring heist to steal a valuable diamond, with the intent of using the proceeds to fund research in search of a cure for his illness. Cheung and his two accomplices execute the heist, stealing the diamond and escaping the scene.

Meanwhile, Inspector Ho is assigned to the case and begins to investigate the robbery. As he delves deeper into the case, he figures out Cheung's plan and decides to go after him. Ho and Cheung engage in a game of cat and mouse as Ho tries to catch Cheung before he can make his escape with the diamond.

The two main characters in Running Out of Time, Cheung and Ho, are complex and multi-dimensional. Cheung is a resourceful, intelligent criminal who is motivated by a desire to find a cure for his illness. He is not a typical villain, as he does not intend to use the diamond for his own gain. Inspector Ho, on the other hand, is a seasoned police officer who is skilled at solving cases. He is determined to catch Cheung but begins to develop a certain admiration for him as the two engage in their pursuit.

The film's action sequences are expertly choreographed and executed, featuring tense and exciting chase scenes throughout the streets of Hong Kong. The use of Hong Kong's urban landscape as an integral part of the action adds an extra dimension to the film's visuals. Running Out of Time also has a distinctive visual style, with a striking color palette and use of shadows and light.

In addition to its thrilling action sequences, the film also explores themes related to mortality, morality, and the nature of good and evil. Cheung's terminal illness and his desire to use the stolen diamond for a noble cause add a layer of complexity to his character, making him more sympathetic than a traditional criminal mastermind. Similarly, Ho's admiration for Cheung and his tactics challenge traditional notions of good and evil in the context of law enforcement.

Overall, Running Out of Time is a complex and engaging action thriller that excels at both its action sequences and its exploration of deeper themes. The film's well-drawn characters, exciting chase scenes, and striking visual style make it a standout in the genre.

Running Out of Time
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (6,353)