Shang Hai Zhi Yen
1984 / 103m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Romance
Shanghai Blues poster


March 07, 2010


A slightly more generic mix of comedy and romance, with a splash of drama on the side. Hark already demonstrated he could do better, but like most Hong Kong directors he was unable to fully escape Hong Kong's well-oiled genre film-producing industry. Shanghai Blues isn't a bad film, but if you're new to Hark and you want to quench your blues thirst, go for Peking Opera first.

Right before being shipped off to war a young recruit meets a lovely girl underneath a bridge, looking for shelter from the Japanese bombs. They make a deal to meet again after the war, but they don't know each other's names, so they have no clue where to look. Ten years later, they will meet again, unaware of their past together.

Hark relies a bit too much on situational comedy, which isn't my favorite. Only when he takes it to extremes does it become properly funny, but those moments are a little too sparse. The plot and performances are decent, but the pacing is a little slow for the amount of predictability present. It's certainly not a bad film, it's just that I expect to see a little extra in Hark's work.